Congresswoman carjacked in Philadelphia park; 5 teens arrested

Delaware State Police and the FBI made the discovery in the area of the Christiana Mall, sources say.

Thursday, December 23, 2021
Congresswoman carjacked in Philadelphia; 5 in custody
The vehicle belonging to a Pennsylvania congresswoman has been recovered after she was carjacked in broad daylight by two armed men in a Philadelphia park.

PHILADELPHIA -- Five teenagers, one just 13 years old, have been arrested in Delaware after a United States congresswoman was carjacked in a Philadelphia park.

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) and a staff member were not injured in the incident, which happened around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Scanlon had been touring FDR Park in South Philadelphia with other members of Congress, and police say she and her staffer were walking to her parked vehicle when they were approached by two armed men driving a dark-colored SUV.

The men demanded the keys to her vehicle, police say, and they took off with her blue 2017 Acura MDX.

Her personal cellphone, government cellphone, purse and identification were inside the vehicle.

Scanlon and her staff member were not injured.

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Delaware State Police and the FBI discovered Scanlon's vehicle Wednesday night in the area of the Christiana Mall in Delaware, sources tell sister station WPVI-TV.

Five occupants were also reportedly located in the stolen vehicle, and they were taken into police custody around 9 p.m.

The suspects include 19-year-old Josiah Brown, a 14-year-old girl, and three males ages 13, 15, and 16. All of the suspects are Wilmington, Delaware, residents.

Brown was involved in the armed carjacking in Philadelphia's FDR Park, police say, and was turned over to the FBI for formal charging.

The other teens were charged with receiving stolen property.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon

In a statement after the incident, Scanlon's office said she "thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response, and appreciates the efforts of both the Sergeant at Arms in D.C. and her local police department for coordinating with Philly PD to ensure her continued safety."

Scanlon represents Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District, which includes part of South Philadelphia.

FDR Park is within City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's district. He says these carjackings are happening at all times of day and that anyone is falling victim.

"Right now in the City of Philadelphia, people feel like there's a sense of lawlessness," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, you see carjackings taking place during the holiday season. We see people being robbed of their Rolexes, so at the end of the day, we have to figure out how do we get ahold of this senseless violence."

Mayor Jim Kenney said he was "appalled" to learn about this crime.

"It's disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of tranquility and peace-one of Philadelphia's beautiful parks," Kenney said in a statement. "My thoughts are with her during what I'm sure is a traumatic time."


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