A special task force created to solve armed robberies in the wake of a wild Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans is netting results, Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said Thursday.
Harrison said the task force, dubbed Operation: TIGER, or Tactical Intelligence Gathering and Enforcement Response, has arrested or identified 13 suspects in 30 violent crimes committed from May 30 to July 5.
“They made the choices, and now they are going to face the consequences,” Harrison said of the criminals.
The task force differs from ordinary armed robbery investigations because it deeply involves members of the department’s SWAT teams.
Among the high-profile collars credited to the group are the arrests of two brothers, Deago and Greg Moore, who are accused of shooting and robbing a bartender at Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar while the bartender was at Lee Circle on his way home from work on the morning of June 3.
The brothers also are suspected in armed robberies June 2 in the 800 block of Convention Center Boulevard and June 3 in the 1800 block of Josephine Street. The victim in the latter robbery was shot.
Police said the task force also tracked down Nicholas Roby after a carjacking in the 5100 block of Frenchmen Street the night of June 29.
Officers spotted Roby setting fire to the stolen Mercedes-Benz the next day, according to a police report. Police said he then led them to a home in the 2300 block of Allen Street where in the attic they found Devontay Jenkins, 18, who was wanted in a string of auto burglaries as well as a double shooting.
Speaking at a news conference Thursday, Harrison said he was struck by how young most of the suspects identified in the armed robbery sweep have been.
Police said one suspect, who also was captured in the attic in the 2300 block of Allen Street, was just 10 or 11. Authorities say he took part in an armed robbery.
Police said the task force’s work also led to the identification of suspects in a May 30 armed robbery in the 1600 block of Elizardi Boulevard, illegal carrying of a weapon June 20 at Dauphine and Conti streets, an armed robbery June 28 in the 10000 block of Curran Boulevard and a carjacking July 5 in the 3700 block of Marigny Street.
Despite the many arrests notched by the task force, police said few of the arrests involved incidents that occurred over the violent Memorial Day weekend that spurred the group’s creation. Twenty-six armed robberies involving dozens of victims were committed over that weekend, spurring citywide concern.
It also was unclear whether the task force has led to an overall increase in the percentage of armed robberies considered cleared. A Police Department spokesman said he did not have that information available on Thursday.