New Orleans police were searching for two men who apparently 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 Gordon and Marais streets about 12:06 a.m. in a Crown Victoria stolen from an employee of a Jefferson Parish justice of the peace. The two men pretended to be undercover officers and forced the driver to hand over his keys. One of them then drove away in the victim’s car.
Police said they recovered the vehicle in the 6000 block of St. Claude Avenue.
The identification of the two suspects followed some confusion as to the ownership of the Crown Victoria said to have been 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 confirmed that the car was in fact a privately owned vehicle, albeit one with official decals.
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,” Fortunato said.