Police have arrested five suspects — four of them teenagers — in connection with the reported Wednesday carjacking of Democratic Pennsylvania Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon.
Scanlon, who supported a bill that would have made it easier for local police departments to replace police officers with mental health specialists, was reportedly forced out of her car at gunpoint in FDR Park in Philadelphia around 2:45pm on Wednesday. The alleged robbers also reportedly made off with a number of her personal effects, including her personal and government cell phones.
According to Delaware State Police, authorities tracked the blue Acura Scanlon was driving to Delaware a few hours after it was stolen, and found five individuals inside. According to WTXF-TV, the suspects — whose names have not been released due to their age — were described as teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16. Four of them are facing charges of receiving stolen property and a fifth, an unidentified 15-year-old, is facing charges of resisting arrest and criminal mischief in connection, but that individual was not charged in connection with the carjacking. However, police did determine through their investigation that a 19-year-old named Josiah Brown was involved in the carjacking, and they turned him over to the FBI for processing.
The suspects all reportedly attempted to flee from police when confronted.
According to Scanlon's office, she was not physically harmed during the incident, and she thanked a number of police agencies for working quickly to help solve the case. Philadelphia's Democratic Mayor Jim Kinney condemned the incident in a statement, saying, ""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."
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement, "Armed robberies are among the most serious crimes because of the danger they pose to victims and the fear they instill in communities. My office is ready to vigorously pursue accountability when these individuals are located by police and taken into custody."
Police told WTXF that Philadelphia has seen an 80% increase in carjackings in 2021 compared to 2020.