New Orleans police on Friday said they were searching for two men who posed as undercover officers to steal a man’s vehicle in the Lower 9th Ward just after midnight Friday.
Police said they believe Haussan Lewis, 19, and Lance Lewis, 21, pulled over a man near the corner of Gordon and Marais streets at around 12:06 a.m. in a Crown Victoria stolen from an employee of the justice of the peace’s office in Jefferson Parish. The two men allegedly pretended to be undercover officers and forced the man to hand over his keys. One of them then drove off in the second car.
Police said they recovered the carjacking victim’s vehicle in the 6000 block of Saint Claude Avenue.
The identification of the two suspects followed some confusion as to the ownership of the Crown Victoria used in the carjacking. An NOPD release initially suggested the sedan — a mainstay for law enforcement fleets — had been stolen from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The NOPD eventually backed off that claim and confirmed that the car was in fact a privately owned vehicle, albeit one with decals referencing the Department of Justice.
JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said the vehicle had nothing to do with the sheriff’s office.
“Just because it’s a white Crown Victoria stolen out of Jefferson Parish doesn’t automatically indicate that it’s a Jefferson Parish unit,” said Fortunato.
Editor’s note: This piece was changed May 15 to correct the court that employed the stolen Jefferson Parish car’s owner.