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Congresswoman carjacked at gunpoint, 5 in custody

ABC News logo ABC News 12/24/2021
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Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in broad daylight Wednesday afternoon in south Philadelphia's largest park following a business meeting.

The congresswoman was left unharmed, according to a statement provided to ABC News by her spokesperson, Lauren Cox.

"Wednesday afternoon, at around 2:45 p.m., Congresswoman Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in FDR Park following a meeting at that location. The Congresswoman was physically unharmed," Cox said in a statement.

"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," the statement said.

Five suspects were taken into custody in Newark, Delaware, at about 9 p.m., when they were found inside Scanlon's Acura MDX in a parking lot, Delaware State Police said. Their names were not released.

MORE: Philadelphia reaches 500 homicides for 1st time since 1990

Scanlon, who was first elected to Congress in 2018, represents the 5th Congressional District in Pennsylvania, which includes parts of south Philadelphia.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon speaks during the news conference in the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 21, 2021. © Bill Clark/AP Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon speaks during the news conference in the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 21, 2021.

Her spokesperson confirmed that Scanlon's personal belongings, including her personal and government-issued phones and identification, were stolen by the perpetrators.

Philadelphia's mayor, Jim Kenney, released a statement condemning the incident.

"I'm appalled to learn of this violent crime that was perpetrated against my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon. Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly, as we know, that hasn't always been the case 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," he said in a statement.

"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. I'm also thankful that our police officers have been working hard to identify violent criminals and get them off our streets. PPD is actively investigating this incident. We simply cannot and will not tolerate any acts of violence. If anyone has any information about this incident—or any other crime—please call or text PPD's anonymous tip line at 215-686-TIPS."

MORE: Philadelphia students 'scared to go to school' as gun violence escalates

The incident comes amid a violent year in Philadelphia, which saw a spike in both gunpoint robberies and auto thefts.

Philadelphia is seeing at least an 80% increase in carjackings in 2021, compared with the total number in 2020, Philadelphia Police have said.

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