Concern grows as carjackings across Philadelphia escalate in all neighborhoods

Carjackings right in the heart of Center City. Just proof the pilferers can strike anywhere, at any time.

There is concern along Walnut Street in Center City Monday after a neighbor was carjacked at gunpoint just as he stepped out of his 2019 Audi SUV Easter Sunday night.

"It’s a big concern. I mean, you can see the violence in the city is growing over the pandemic," stated David Macfarland.

"I guess it can happen anywhere, so you always have to be aware," a resident commented.

Sources say the carjacking victim had just dropped his wife and year-old baby off at his house and unloaded several packages. When he moved his car to his parking lot just up the block, the carjackers approached him.

It happened in a rear alley parking area behind apartments in the 300 block of Walnut Street. That’s where residents and employees, like David McFarland, park their cars. Police say the carjackers pointed a gun at the victim’s head and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t give up his keys.

"It’s just unfortunate that it happened here," Macfarland said.

A few hours later, around 1 a.m., police say an Uber driver dropping a rider off on the 1900 block of South 8th Street in South Philadelphia had a gun stuck in his face. He, too, was forced to hand over the keys to his 2020 Toyota Corolla.

"I think it happens everywhere. I grew up in the New York City area, so I’m used to it," the resident added.

"You gotta be safe. Even in my neighborhood. It’s a shame," Macfarland went on.

With more than 150 carjackings already this year, drivers across the city are looking over their shoulders.

"I just make sure I leave while the sun’s still out," Macfarland said.



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