Crime in New Orleans is out of control. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) revealed that in the first 28 days of 2023, 728 vehicle thefts were reported. This is a staggering number when compared to the same time last year (334 thefts).
In a statement to 4WWL media, the NOPD said that the reported occurrences include "armed carjackings, attempted simple carjackings, simple carjackings, attempted carjackings, carjackings, and carjackings with simultaneous recovery."
The NOPD website has an interactive map available to the public where the locations of the crimes can be viewed. This makes it easier to obtain the figures.
Vehicle thefts at "unprecedented" levels
The president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche, said that the number of auto thefts breaks an unprecedented record in the city and that the number of thefts in 2022 is likely to be far exceeded:
We started the new year with an unprecedented level that has not decreased, so we are on track to have a really bad year from a vehicle theft standpoint.
Goyeneche mentioned that although many vehicles are recovered, the number of thefts is increasing every day. He also emphasized one of the most detrimental factors: the lack of officers in the NOPD.
There aren't enough officers in the department to curb all crimes. The limited officers "not only respond to auto thefts" but also respond to felony calls and this slows down their ability to process these reports:
When the police department is one-third understaffed and they respond not only to auto thefts but to all other categories of serious crime, it is understandable that there are some delays in processing reports for some of the crimes reported.