Burglary continues to haunt New Orleans business owners

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — A spate of burglaries along Freret Street has left about a dozen uptown businesses frustrated and violated.

“It must have been a very disturbing sense of transgression,” said co-owner of Windowsill Pies Marielle Dupré.

At first glance everything seemed normal, Dupre said, and she thought someone had just left the door open when she came in last Wednesday morning.

“I went into the kitchen and saw the crowbar mark on the safe and all the cash in the drawer was gone, thank goodness we did open the drawer so only coins were taken and nothing but all our food Things were broken and tablets were used in our speakers for the music system and of course some beer and wine,” Dupré said.

As they tried to get rid of it, Dupre said she noticed her neighbor, Mojo Coffee, talking to police Saturday morning.

“We thought ‘Oh my God, this is not going to happen again’ and they were just comforting us last week, they brought me a few rolls of coins last week because we didn’t have coins, and now we want to do something for you, which is too Terrible,” Dupre said.

Police have not said whether the break-ins are linked, but the voices in Mojo on Friday night sounded similar.

“Somebody broke down and took the whole checkout, took the whole thing out and left in a minute or two, but it’s funny they didn’t take the other checkout because we had two so they only had a hundred dollars something,” an employee said.

Those with businesses and jobs in the area say that has happened regularly in and around this part of Freret over the past month. Before Mojo’s, Dat Dog was also very popular.

“They just took two empty cash drawers and broke the door in a stupid way, so I don’t think they’re good at what they’re doing,” said one manager.

NOPD provided video of the break-in at the High Hat Cafe after 2 a.m. on October 4. You see a masked man with a moustache, probably a full beard, coming in on a bicycle and trying to pry open the cash register before taking the whole thing and the tablet.

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Commercial theft has increased dramatically in the Freret community. City figures show they are up 200%.

Earlier this month, we showed you similar break-ins in uptown and downtown areas, but overall, the city of New Orleans saw a drop in business thefts to around 360, down from more than 500 this time last year.

Some people on Freret are having trouble breathing, just thanks to their lucky stars.

“As far as I know, no one was injured, so it’s really a positive thing,” Dupre said.

“As long as no one is here and no one is hurt, it’s like money and insurance,” said a Mojo employee.

Businesses we interviewed said NOPD patrols in the area have increased despite continued thefts.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Second District detectives or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.

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