Would-Be Thief Gets Instant Karma After Fed-Up NOLA Resident Rigs Truck With Flash Bang Deterrent
A would-be thief in New Orleans got an explosive surprise when he broke into a pickup truck on Friday night.
It's no secret that New Orleans has seen an insane uptick in car break-ins as crime is on the rise across the country. From people being dragged during carjackings, to residents losing their lives during robberies in broad daylight, New Orleans residents are fed up and starting to fight back by any means necessary.
One man who has had his pickup truck broken into more than eight times over the past two months decided to leave a non-lethal flashbang in his center console to send a message to the next person who would decide to smash his window and help themselves to his belongings.
Surveillance footage shows a car pulling up to a pickup truck that is parked along a street. The vandal hops out, casually smashes in the truck window, and proceeds to lean into the cab. While there is no audio on the video posted by WVUE, a quick flash can be seen with an immediate reaction from the would-be thief.
Click video below to watch
The New Orleans news outlet spoke with the owner of the truck who said that while he's fed up with his window being smashed in for the eighth time, there was a bit of satisfaction this go-round.
To see him like gleefully walk up and just smash my eighth window in the past couple of months and jump in and then you know to see the detonation go off and his reaction. I don’t want this guy to die for what he did, but I don’t want him to just be able to smash and grab and run away.
The non-lethal triggered deterrent was set up in the center console of the pickup truck, a popular place for these smash-and-grab robbers to dig for valuables. These robbers are usually able to grab cash, weapons, or electronics that are usually hidden in these storage areas.
While the owner of the vehicle isn't happy about having to replace another costly window, he hopes that the unpleasant experience will deter the would-be thief and any friends who partake in similar crimes.
He probably didn’t get hurt that bad, but it wasn’t pleasant and it might deter him and his friends and tell other people not to do this too because, without something like this, there is no consequence because they’re not going to get arrested
The part about "no consequence" is sad but true as the amount of break-ins makes it almost impossible for police to track down these petty thieves, leaving residents discouraged and—like the owner of this pickup—left feeling like they have to fend for themselves.
NOPD and local leadership has faced sharp criticism for the rash of break-ins along with the amount of brazen crime that has plagued the city in recent months, causing some NOLA regulars to take extreme precautions or, in some cases, avoid the city altogether.
Leadership has failed and more ways than one when it comes to this situation, just crime in the area, like, I reported to the police almost every time and I don’t blame the police for this, they’re understaffed and like there’s too much crime. I really blame the fact that like these, these people get caught, and then they basically get bailed out. Whoever did this, definitely, had a bad night. He might never do it again because every time he goes in there, this could happen to him.
The owner of the pickup says that he doesn't place the blame solely on police, but NOPD has been facing backlash over a warning that they issued after the man's story began to circulate after being posted on WVUE.
While the messaging from NOPD is not necessarily wrong, the timing and the context couldn't have been worse because many people saw it as the authorities seeming to look out for the safety and convenience of these would-be criminals over the safety of law-abiding citizens who have been terrorized by the recent uptick in crime.
According to WVUE, NOPD data shows that while crime is no stranger to New Orleans or other big cities, there has been an uptick.
City-wide, New Orleans police data shows vehicle burglaries are up 28% over the same time last year. In the Central Business District, where this man lives, they’re up 116%.
Residents sounded off on the video as well as the NOPD warning via social media.
Even after scaring off the would-be thieves with the flashbang, the man says he feels like his time as a resident in the inner-city of New Orleans is coming to a close.
My condo is for sale. I don’t want to live there anymore because I can’t keep paying for windows. It’s almost like a culture now on a big night, whether it’s something like the Final Four or you know, a holiday weekend, something like that, you can almost expect it in my neighborhood.
He also believes the thieves are mainly looking for guns as he has had firearms stolen and other valuables virtually untouched.
Even though many are frustrated with the timing and the context of their warning, NOPD is just sending out a message that "anything rigged up to detonate can be considered a bomb and could be illegal" in hopes that it will deter other frustrated victims from trying the same type of tactic.
Even the man who set up the non-lethal deterrent "does not encourage others to try to replicate his device" as reported in the full story that you can read here via WVUE.