Carjackings in Philadelphia rise at alarming rate while age of suspects drop

While shootings are plaguing Philadelphia, carjackings have skyrocketed during the pandemic, hitting nearly every neighborhood in the city, at all times of the day.

And, police say the risk is the same, regardless of whether a person lives in Philly or is just driving in.

Carjackings sweeping across the city at an alarming rate. It happened again early Wednesday morning in the Northeast when an Uber Eats delivery driver came face-to-face with two armed carjackers. The driver spoke with FOX 29’s Dave Schratwieser by phone.

"What did they say to you?" asked Schratwieser.

"Give me money, give me everything," the driver answered.

"He makes his delivery. He’s returning to his car and he’s confronted by two younger males, one with a gun," explained Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum, of Northeast Detectives.

Police say it was just after midnight in the 8000 block of Erdrick Street when the carjackers pounced on the driver seconds after he dropped off a food delivery. He said he was terrified, staring down the barrel of a gun. Police say he handed over his keys and the carjackers drove off in his 2010 Lexus.

"This is a point of gun robbery with an Uzi-type weapon. This is a problem. This is a felony," Lt. Rosenbaum stated.

"This is a quiet neighborhood. It’s a very scary idea to have somebody out of nowhere just come and do that," a neighbor commented.

This was the fifth carjacking in the past week. The carjacking numbers continue to rise and the age of the suspects continues to drop. Last week, a 17-year-old was charged in a carjacking on Emerson Street. Sunday, a 14-year-old and 15-year-old were charged with carjacking a Lyft driver in East Oak Lane. The driver pulled out his gun and shot one of the carjackers.

"It’s staggering. You see the reports and it’s juveniles. You wonder what they’re thinking," Lt. Rosenbaum added.

Investigators believe this could be the work of a carjacking crew from West Philly who’ve struck almost a dozen times in the Northeast. Police say drivers need to be on guard and delivery drivers should be looking over their shoulders.

"Make sure you’re not being followed when you’re going to your deliveries. Just be a little more cautious," Lt. Rosenbaum advised.



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