Woman gunned down driving in N.O. Uptown

An unidentified woman died early Friday after she was found shot multiple times inside a vehicle in the 2000 block of Foucher Street in Uptown New Orleans.

Officers responding to reports of a traffic accident just after 3 a.m. found the victim unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a silver Mercedes-Benz sedan, which had crashed into a parked car. She was taken to a hospital, where she died, police said.

Detectives were trying to determine where and when the shooting occurred.

The victim’s name and age were not immediately released.

Man, 18, booked on rape, burglary charges

A man was arrested on charges including aggravated rape and burglary after he allegedly forced a man into the man’s 7th Ward home at gunpoint and sexually assaulted him.

Brodrick Cotton, 18, is accused of raping the victim about 8:10 a.m. Thursday inside a home in the 1500 block of North Prieur Street.

After the assault, he tried to rob the victim, according to a police report.

The victim’s roommate heard shouting and called police, according to the report. Meanwhile, police said, Cotton stole the victim’s cellphone.

Officers arrived as Cotton tried to leave the home by the front door. He ran back inside, according to the report, tossed the phone into the toilet, broke a window and escaped.

Police found him about two hours later in the 1900 block of Columbus Street, not far from the victim’s home.

Cotton remained jailed Friday, according to Orleans Parish Prison records. In addition to the rape and burglary charges, he was booked with criminal damage, resisting an officer and second-degree kidnapping, according to OPP records.

His bail was set at $570,000.

Gunman robs man of backpack, police say

A 24-year-old man was robbed of his backpack at gunpoint Thursday morning, New Orleans police said.

The victim was walking to his mother-in-law’s home when an unknown man in a silver vehicle pulled up.

The man asked the victim to get in the car to listen to music, police said. The victim complied, and the man drove away. Police said the victim then told the man to let him out, which he did.

Later, about 9 a.m., the man walked up to the victim while he was on his mother-in-law’s porch in the 1400 block of South Tonti Street and demanded his bag at gunpoint, police said.

The victim handed it over, and the man ran away.

Clerk stabs man who tried to break up fight

A store clerk stabbed a man who tried to defuse an argument between the clerk and a woman, police said.

About 9 p.m. Thursday, the victim’s woman friend got into an argument with the clerk at a store near Prentiss Avenue and Chrysler Street in New Orleans East.

When the victim tried to break up the argument, he was stabbed in the chest by the clerk, police said.

The clerk fled the scene, and the victim was treated at a hospital.

Two sought in robbery, credit card fraud case

Police are trying to identify and locate two men wanted in a robbery and credit card fraud.

Police said the victim was walking near Dauphine and Pauger streets about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when a black SUV pulled up behind him.

An unknown man got out of the vehicle and tackled the victim, police said. The man punched the victim in the eye before taking his wallet and cellphones. The man then fled the scene.

While investigating the case, detectives learned another man was using the victim’s credit card at several convenience stores in the city.

Police on Friday released a sketch of the unknown robber. He is described as a black man with a medium build and medium-length dreadlocks. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.

The second man was recorded on surveillance cameras.

Anyone with information about either man’s identity is asked to contact the 8th District Investigative Unit at (504) 658-6080.

Police seek suspect in purse-snatching case

Detectives are trying to find a suspect wanted in connection with a purse snatching in the French Quarter.

Police allege 22-year-old Marlon Henry, who also goes by the name Markeisha, asked two women for directions about midnight Oct. 20 at Gov. Nicholls and Bourbon streets, then snatched one of the women’s purses before fleeing.

Anyone with information on Henry’s whereabouts is asked to contact 8th District detectives at (504) 658-6080.

Police seek three in N.O. East robbery

Police are trying to find one man and identify two others in connection with a recent armed robbery in Algiers.

Gentry Loftis, 18, and the two unknown men are accused of robbing the victims a little before 10 p.m. Oct. 25 near West Westpark and Cypress Acres drives.

The 31- and 46-year-old victims were riding their bicycles when Loftis and the other men jumped from behind a tree and knocked them off their bikes, police said.

The men, who each had a gun and wore dark-colored hooded sweatshirts, beat the victims, and one hit both victims in the head with a gun.

The men fled with the victims’ wallets, cellphones and a small knife.

Police said the 31-year-old victim was treated at a hospital, while the 46-year-old victim refused treatment.

A warrant for two counts of armed robbery has been issued for Loftis’ arrest.

Anyone with information on Loftis’ whereabouts or the identities of the other men is asked to contact 7th District detectives at (504) 658-6070.

Westwego man booked on sexual abuse charge

Plaquemines Parish authorities have arrested a Westwego man suspected of sexually abusing a juvenile.

John Paul Vajas Jr., 43, was booked Oct. 28 with sexual battery and molestation of a juvenile among other charges, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which released the information Friday.

Cmdr. Eric Becnel, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said investigators believe there might be other victims, and investigators are urging anyone else allegedly abused by Vajas to contact them.

In late September, the victim reported being abused by Vajas in Belle Chasse in early 2011, Becnel said. Vajas allegedly told the victim not to tell anybody about it.

As the investigation continued, Becnel said, detectives learned Vajas was accused of sexually abusing another person in April 1997.

That incident was reported to the New Orleans Police Department. The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office has not been able to determine the outcome of that investigation, Becnel said.

Vajas remains in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office with his bail set at $450,000.

Other alleged victims of Vajas or people with information about this investigation are asked to contact Detective Aaron Verrette at (504) 564-2525 or (504) 297-5277, or Crimestopppers at (504) 822-1111.

Man burglarizes church, steals $300 in cash

A man broke into a New Orleans East church early Friday morning and fled with cash, police said.

The unknown man threw a brick through the glass door of Deliverance Missionary Baptist Church, 6211 Hayne Blvd., about 1 a.m. and made his way inside.

He walked to the office, grabbed $300 and fled, police said.

Detective Donald Sharp is in charge of the investigation and can be contacted at (504) 658-6070.