While fans watched the New Orleans Saints secure a hometown win over the Seattle Seahawks, criminals were scoring multiple prizes by smashing into the cars of fans parked in a nearby lot.
Station WDSU reported that multiple fans experienced car break-ins at one lot.
“The Saints won, which was great, but yeah, it was pretty shocking,” said Bennett Porche, who was among the victims.
“We walked up to the parking lot. We saw a bunch of police vehicles here, and we came to our vehicle, and the driver’s side windshield was smashed in,” he said.
Porche estimated about two dozen people were victimized.
“It’s disgusting, it really is. I feel for all the other individuals that had their cars damaged and items stolen,” he said.
Porche said the damage ruined what had been a long-awaited day. New Orleans defeated Seattle 39-32.
“We have season tickets. My son was on a waiting list, and he was on a waiting list for years. He was all excited, and this is the first game we come to, like I said, in 14 years, and this is what happens,” he said.
“This has to be fixed, or people are not going to come to this city,” Porche said. “We’re from Houma. We’re not going to come back until this is fixed.”
Car break-ins have been a long-running issue in the city, according to WWL-TV.
“When we do have friends that come visit, it is something that we definitely warn them about and to be careful,” New Orleans resident Claire Jett said in August amid a spike in car vandalism.
A New Orleans Uber driver said he saw over 32 car break-ins downtown in one night. He filmed what he saw and posted it to TikTok yesterday.
— Fix New Orleans (@FixNOLA) July 30, 2022
Uber driver John Gualtieri said the vandalism is getting worse.
“You go through these lots, and there’s shattered glass like everywhere,” Gualtieri said. “You can see the sparkle of the glass in the lot.”
He said the city needs to act on the problem.
“New Orleans is a great city. New Orleans has potential to be an even better city, and when you love something, you hold it accountable,” Gualtieri said.
In July, WDSU reported that police put the total number of car burglaries at 3,074, well above the full-year 2021 total of 2,831.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.