By Brittany Bernstein, National Review
Authorities arrested five suspects in Delaware on Wednesday night who were discovered traveling in a vehicle that was carjacked at gunpoint from Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D., Pa.) hours earlier.
Scanlon was one of 125 Democratic sponsors of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which aimed to make it easier for states and localities to replace police officers with social workers and other first responders.
The 62-year old congresswoman handed over the keys to her 2017 blue Acura MDX at gunpoint on Wednesday at FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Scanlon was approached by two black men who demanded the keys to her vehicle as she walked toward her parked vehicle after taking a tour of the park around 2:45 p.m., according to police and the congresswoman’s office.
One suspect drove off in Scanlon’s vehicle while the other fled the scene in a dark-colored SUV, police said. The congresswoman, whose district covers parts of Philadelphia and its western suburbs, was unharmed, though she also lost multiple cell phones to the carjackers.
Delaware police who were working in conjunction with the FBI found the SUV near the Christiana Mall in Newark around 9 p.m., WPVI-TV reported.
Authorities took four men and one woman into custody after a “brief foot pursuit,” police said. It is unclear if the vehicle’s occupants were directly involved in the carjacking, WPVI-TV reported.
Officials have not announced any charges in the case and have said more information will be released as Philadelphia Police and the FBI continue to investigate.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “appalled to learn of this violent crime.”
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly, as we know, that hasn’t always been the case this year,” said Kenney, who is reportedly friends with Scanlon. “It’s disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in…one of Philadelphia’s most beautiful parks.”
The congresswoman thanked “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,” a statement from her office read.
The incident comes amid a spike in carjackings in the city, which had recorded 503 carjackings by October, double the 227 seen by October 2020, according to WPVI-TV.
The carjacking also came one day after Illinois state Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford and her husband were carjacked in a suburb of Chicago. The lawmaker and her husband were not injured in the Broadview carjacking.
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