While dozens of looters and armed robbers took to the streets of New Orleans during Hurricane Isaac, police reported no killings and virtually no gunfire, resulting in one of the least violent weeks in a city notorious for its sky-high murder rate, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Maybe people recognized that surviving the storm was more important than petty differences,” said Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
Serpas attributed the drop in violence to a mandated dusk-to-dawn curfew and heightened street patrols. For the last week, about 600 police officers and 200 National Guardsmen patrolled the streets at any given time. Even with the beefed-up patrols, the widespread lack of electricity seemed to embolden opportunistic criminals. At least 12 armed robberies and three carjackings were reported. Officials anticipate hundreds of residential and business burglaries will be reported when all the records are compiled. Police arrested 41 people for looting. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro made a point of seeking stiff bond amounts for looters, magistrate commissioners set bonds for alleged looters as high as $100,000.