Exclusive: Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon recalls armed carjacking near FDR Park

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon said she feared for her life when a pair of armed carjackers partially blocked her vehicle and demanded her keys Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia.

In an exclusive interview with FOX 29's Jeff Cole, the congresswoman said she had just got back to her car after a "lovely" walk through FDR Park with other elected officials to when the robbery happened. 

"There were a lot of families and people with dogs out and about, but when I went to get into my car to leave from the parking lot a car pulled up and a couple people with guns got out and demanded my keys from me and my staffer," Scanlon recalled. 

According to the congresswoman's account of the carjacking, the suspect's car partially blocked her 2017 Acura MDX that was parked in a parking space. She thought the people in the car were waiting to pick someone up from the park. 

That's when two armed people got out of the waiting car and demanded Scanlon's car keys. She handed over the keys, recalling that she wisely "wasn't going to argue with someone with a gun." 

Police say one of the suspects drove away with Scanlon's car and the other got back into the original car. No one was hurt during the carjacking and Scanlon credited local authorities for moving "quickly" to locate her car hours later in Delaware. 

"We're very, very grateful for all the help and support that we got from the police," Scanlon said. "We haven't gotten it back yet, they're still processing it."


Delaware State Police said they found Scanlon's car on Wednesday night, hours after the carjacking, in a parking lot near the Christiania Mall. Five people were spotted getting into the car and tried to flee when police closed in.

Four teens between the ages of 13-16 were charged Thursday with a felony count of receiving stolen property. A 15-year-old suspect was also charged with resisting arrest and criminal mischief. 

Police say 19-year-old Josiah Brown, who was among the group of teens caught in Delaware, was involved in the carjacking and has been turned over to federal investigators in Philadelphia. 

Less than 24 hours after the carjacking, Scanlon said she has received an outpouring of well-wishes from friends and colleagues.

"Everybody is so shocked and horrified," Scanlon said. "This is not something that usually happens in the middle of the afternoon in FDR Park." 

Philadelphia has seen at least an 80% increase in carjackings in 2021, compared to the total number in 2020, police told FOX 29 earlier this month.



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