NEW ORLEANS, LA – A thief attempting to break into a pickup truck in New Orleans, Louisiana last Friday evening got more than he bargained for when a flashbang grenade that its owner rigged inside the vehicle console blew up in his face.
New Orleans residents have been enduring a massive escalation in vehicle break-ins over the course of the last year; one man – who wished to remain anonymous when speaking to the media – had personally experienced multiple vehicle break-ins, and finally decided to set up a surprise for the next smash-and-grab low-life that came along.
The man ended up installing a flashbang grenade inside his vehicle’s center console; on Friday, a crook could be seen on surveillance video getting out of an accomplice’s car, quickly smashing the booby-trapped pickup’s driver’s side window, and pulling himself into the vehicle to look for ill-gotten goods.
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What he got instead, according to the video, was a flashbang explosion in his face, causing the thief to immediately jump out and run back to his accomplice’s car, where the miscreants made their escape.
“To see him like gleefully walk up and just smash my eighth window in the past couple months and jump in, and then you know to see the detonation go off and his reaction,” the truck owner told local media. “I don’t want this guy to die for what he did, but I don’t want him to just be able to smash and grab and run away.”
It is unknown if the suspect sustained any injuries from the explosion. Flashbang grenades are considered non-lethal, but having one go off in such close proximity in an enclosed environment could have potentially hurt the suspect.
“He probably didn’t get hurt that bad, but it wasn’t pleasant, and it might deter him and his friends and tell other people not to do this too because, without something like this, there is no consequence because they’re not going to get arrested,” the truck owner said.
Reports indicate that vehicle burglaries in New Orleans overall have increased 28 percent from the same period of time last year; however, in the Central Business District – where the truck owner resides – they have increased a whopping 116 percent.