NOPD to patrol ‘hot spots’ for car burglaries near Caesars Superdome, Smoothie King Arena

NOPD to patrol 'hot spots' for car burglaries near Caesars Superdome, Smoothie King Arena

New Orleans police will be targeting car burglary “hot spots” downtown amid an increase in break-ins and vandalism during events at the Caesars Superdome and Smoothie King Arena, authorities said.

The calls grew louder after more vehicles were broken into during Wednesday night’s Pelicans game. Other car burglaries have been reported after events at the venues in recent months, but officials haven’t released specific numbers.

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans spokesperson Greg Bensel said Thursday the organization is “very concerned” about the “constant car break-ins,” adding that the vandalism has caught the attention of the National Football League, given that New Orleans is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2025.

Target areas near ‘parking lots of concern’

On Friday morning, police gave more details about the plan they announced at a press conference Thursday.

The department will use analytics to target “areas near parking lots of concern,” the statement said.

Officers from three police districts – the 1st, 6th and 8th – will “work in concert to patrol the hot spots,” officials said. Investigative units will also be deployed “as they know what areas have been affected.”

The driver’s side window of Drew Bruzdzinski’s GMC Denali was broken during the Pelicans game Wednesday, January 4, 2023. 

Michelle Woodfork, NOPD’s interim police chief, said the plan came after officials from the Saints and Pelicans “reached out and expressed concern” about the break-ins “while people were attending events in our city.”

“They are seeking our help and we are actively working alongside both teams to protect the public and their property while they’re attending events.”

The new plan will “hopefully … curtail (the break-ins) and even delete it,” she said Thursday.

Carlie Kollath Wells is a breaking news reporter at | The Times-Picayune.


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