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Feds Step in to Investigate String of Armed Restaurant Robberies in NOLA

"You have my commitment...this will become a federal prosecution." —U.S. Attorney Keith Polite.

ENOLA

In the wake of a terrifying rash of armed-robberies at Patois, Atchafalaya and Monkey Hill Bar in Uptown over the past month, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu has now called upon federal investigators to help the NOPD find those responsible for the incidents. Basically, this means if the guys are caught, and federal prosecutors are able to link the robberies, steep federal charges and sentencing could follow to the tune of anywhere from 20 to 50+ years behind bars. "You have my commitment...that this will become a federal prosecution," U.S. Attorney Keith Polite told the mayor yesterday during a press conference.

Crimestoppers is offering a $30,000 cash reward for intel, including $15,000 funded privately—$5,000 of which has been kicked in from the Louisiana Restaurant Association. While NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison says they obviously see the similarities in the robberies—all three occurred during hours of operation, though on the late side for restaurants (Atchafalaya at 10 p.m., Patois at 11 p.m., Monkey Hill at 10:30 p.m.), and Patois and Monkey Hill customers were forced to lie on the floor by three gunmen, whereas Atchafalaya's robbers were just a duo— "there's not enough evidence to say that all three are certainly connected or related."  Here is the surveillance footage from Monkey Hill, Atchafalaya and Patois.

Meanwhile, the LRA has just released a list of robbery-prevention tips for restaurants, and many New Orleans restaurants are amping up security measures, especially around closing time.

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