The robbery of Lakeview Harbor restaurant in Lakeview on Tuesday night brought back memories of a string of armed robberies in 2015 that struck a trio of popular Uptown restaurants/bars. The robbers struck Lakeview Harbor during a time when 20 patrons and staff were in the restaurant and even fired a gunshot that fortunately did not strike anybody before fleeing.

Restaurant robberies make headlines, but a review of armed robberies during 2015 shows that these brazen efforts are exceedingly rare. To determine what percentage of armed robberies last year involved businesses I used Public Records Requested Calls for Service data which provided specific location information on robberies.

It would be impossible to say with 100 percent confidence that this review captures where all armed robberies take place, but a fully complete picture would require greater access to NOPD records than can be achieved over the short term.

An estimated two-thirds of all armed robberies in 2015 appear to have taken place on the street or in residences, cars and hotel rooms. These are described in the table below as ‘Non-Business’. Almost 17 percent of armed robberies were carjackings where a vehicle was taken in the process.

That leaves about 16 percent of armed robberies in 2015 that took place at some sort of business. Most of the businesses that were robbed were gas stations and convenience stores, fast food restaurants and various types of commercial stores such as dollar and cell phone stores.

All told there were an estimated seven incidents of a restaurant being robbed last year making up 0.7 percent of all armed robberies in 2015.

Estimated 2015 Armed Robbery Locations

Type 2015 % of Total
Non-Business* 691 67.6%
Carjacking 170 16.6%
Gas/Convenience Store 43 4.2%
Store 41 4.0%
Fast Food 40 3.9%
Restaurant 7 0.7%
Bar 7 0.7%
Hotel Business 6 0.6%
Bank 5 0.5%
Pharmacy 5 0.5%
Grocery 4 0.4%
Other 2 0.2%
School 1 0.1%
* Includes outside locations, in cars, residences, in hotel rooms, etc.

Restaurant robberies occur at random and over the last 18 months have been brazen crimes carried out with numerous customers present. Preventing these crimes is difficult though the perpetrators of last year’s Uptown robberies were brought to justice earlier this year. Fortunately these types of crime are rare relative to all New Orleans armed robberies.