South Philadelphia

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon Carjacked in South Philly; 5 in Custody

The spokesperson said Scanlon, 62, was carjacked at gunpoint at 2:45 p.m. at FDR Park

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What to Know

  • Five suspects are in custody in Delaware after they were found in a vehicle that was stolen at gunpoint in South Philadelphia's FDR Park from U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.
  • State police say Scanlon’s blue Acura MDX was located Wednesday night in Newark, Delaware. That's about 45 miles from Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia police say Scanlon was carjacked while walking to her parked vehicle after a meeting Wednesday when two armed men demanded her keys. Police say that the Democrat handed them over and that one suspect drove off while the other followed in a sport utility vehicle. Scanlon was physically unharmed.

Update (Dec. 23, 2021, at 1:36 p.m.): Police in Delaware have charged five teens after they were found in U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon's vehicle.

Five people were arrested hours after Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-5th District) was carjacked at gunpoint in South Philadelphia.

Scanlon, 62, was walking back to her parked car, an Acura MDX, at FDR Park around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday when she was approached by two armed men who demanded that she hand over her keys and other belongings, including her personal cellphone, federal cellphone and ID.

One of the men then drove off in her car while the other fled in a dark SUV. Scanlon was not physically harmed during the incident.

“I am relieved that Congresswoman Scanlon was not physically injured, and my thoughts are with her during this difficult time,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement, vowing that police would provide any support needed.

Wednesday night, the FBI tracked Scanlon's stolen vehicle. State Police found the car in front of Edge Fitness on 2800 Fashion Center Boulevard in Newark, Delaware. Police also arrested four men and a woman who were inside the vehicle. They have not yet revealed what charges the five people will face.

Our partners at KYW News Radio first made the report.

Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “appalled to learn of this violent crime” against the congresswoman, whom he described as his friend and colleague.

“My thoughts are with her during what I’m sure is a traumatic time,” he said in a Twitter post.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly that hasn’t always been the case this year,” Kenney said. “It’s disheartening and infuriating that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of peace—one of our city’s parks.”

Anthony Giordano, a South Philly resident who runs two community groups, told NBC10 Philadelphia there was another attempted carjacking at 11th and Porter streets earlier on Wednesday.

"Hopefully now that a congresswoman was carjacked it brings national attention to Philadelphia and something needs to be done," Giordano said.

City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, who represents the 2nd District covering parts of South Philly, told NBC10 his constituents feel the city is in a state of lawlessness.

"The individuals were carrying guns and so we’re thankful she wasn’t harmed but the level of gun violence and carjackings is totally unacceptable," Johnson said.

Johnson also said his constituents want support from both government and the community.

"Most importantly increasing public safety and making sure the perps are arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he said.

Since 2019, Scanlon has represented the 5th District, which covers all of Delaware County, part of Chester County, a small portion of southern Montgomery County and a section of South Philadelphia. 

Scanlon's office said she expressed gratitude to city police for their quick response and to her local police department and the Sergeant at Arms in Washington for working with Philadelphia police “to ensure her continued safety.”

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