Some types of New Orleans crime rise and fall with the calendar and many do not. Few crimes, however, are so centered around one specific time a year as pickpockets are to Mardi Gras season. So the Sacramento Kings shouldn’t feel bad about DeMarcus Cousins getting stolen from them last night, it’s happening a lot down here right about now.
Perhaps least surprising of all is the fact that pickpockets tend to concentrate in the city’s 8th District which encompasses the French Quarter and Central Business District. As if on cue, there were 23 pickpocket incidents in the 8th District on Saturday and Sunday beginning an annual rise which will begin to abet after Mardi Gras day.
To see this trend I charted pickpockets in the 8th District over 7 days. The red lines represent the 12 days leading up to Mardi Gras which we entered last Friday night. As you can see pickpockets rise until Mardi Gras day and then come down to a reasonable level for the rest of the year.
Also not surprising is the fact that most of the pickpocket incidents are taking place on Bourbon Street. 13 of the 23 incidents this weekend were on Bourbon Street with another five on Canal Street, four on Royal Street and one on North Peters.
It’s hard to say how bad 2017 will get, but 2016 saw a gigantic spike which had a sizable impact on citywide crime totals in the early part of last year. Bottom line: if you’re going downtown to enjoy parades be careful with your purse and/or wallet.