Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) became the victim of a carjacking in South Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, her office and city officials confirmed.
“She’s physically OK, but her vehicle and possessions are gone,” Scanlon’s spokesperson, Lauren Cox, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Scanlon, a Democrat, represents Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District. That includes parts of South Philadelphia and Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Scanlon’s office, in a statement provided to WVPI-TV, said that two armed men approached her near FDR Park.
“Wednesday afternoon, at around 2:45 p.m., Congresswoman Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in FDR Park following a meeting at that location,” her office said. “The Congresswoman was physically unharmed. 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.”
Police told the station that the suspects demanded the keys to her vehicle, a 2017 Acura MDX with the Pennsylvania license plate LKG-8893, and took off with it. The vehicle was last seen being driven westbound on Pattison toward Penrose streets, they said.
Chief Inspector Frank Vanore, who confirmed the incident, told the Inquirer that later, the two suspects were last seen driving Scanlon’s car toward Interstate 95 southbound. The FBI is now assisting in an investigation, he told the outlet.
Scanlon’s government cell phone, identification, personal cell phone, and purse were also in the vehicle, officials told the station.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, released a statement after the incident.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly, as we know, that hasn’t always been the case this year,” said Kenney, whose administration has been criticized for how it’s been dealing with a spike in violent crime this year.
“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,” the mayor added. “I’m thankful that she was not physically harmed during this incident, and my thoughts are with her during what I’m sure is a traumatic time.”
According to figures released by the city, Philadelphia set its all-time yearly murder rate earlier this month. As of Wednesday, the city saw 544 murders in 2021, surpassing the previously set record of 500 murders in 1990.
With a population of about 1.579 million, the police data suggests Philadelphia’s homicide rate is more than 33 murders per 100,000 people, which is more than four times the 2020 U.S. homicide rate of 7.8 per 100,000 people.
The Epoch Times contacted the congresswoman’s office for additional comment.