SLIDELL, La. (AP) — Five New Orleans teens are in custody after being found with an SUV stolen from an Uber driver who had been shot and left wounded by a New Orleans roadside, police in the suburb of Slidell said Thursday.
The teens were arrested in Slidell late Tuesday morning, the same day as the carjacking, according to a police news release. The driver's condition is unknown, Slidell police said.
"Investigators have reason to believe the teens were scouting the area in order to carjack another victim,” according to the statement from police spokesman Daniel Seuzeneau.
All five were arrested on charges accusing them of possessing the stolen vehicle, a 2022 Toyota Highlander, illegally carrying weapons and illegally possessing a drug. Two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old were also charged with contributing to delinquency of two 16-year-old girls who were arrested as juveniles.
New Orleans police notified Slidell police Tuesday that the SUV might be in the area and warned them that its occupants were considered to be armed and dangerous, the news release said.
It said a detective saw the Highlander shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday, and tactical officers took the teens into custody without incident, confiscating three firearms.
Finding it quickly "quite possibly averted a serious crime from happening in our city,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said.
Three of the teens were arrested as adults — a 19-year-old and two 18-year-olds — and were being held in the St. Tammany Parish Jail and the 16-year-olds in the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, police said.
Seuzeneau did not know whether any of the teens has an attorney who could speak for him or her.
New Orleans police are investigating the carjacking and shooting.