Philadelphia congresswoman carjacked at gunpoint in broad daylight

Mary Gay Scanlon speaking in Congress

A US congresswoman has had her car and possessions snatched from her at gunpoint in a daylight carjacking in the city of Philadelphia.

Mary Gay Scanlon’s government phone and ID were among belongings that the two robbers took. The Democrat was not injured, her office said.

The FBI is assisting in the hunt for the attackers.

Like many US cities, Philadelphia has seen an uptick in violent crime over the past year.

In a statement, the city’s Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, called the robbery, which occurred at 14:45 local time (19:45 GMT) on Wednesday, “appalling”.

  • Is the US seeing a surge in violent crime?

The two male attackers struck after Mrs Scanlon toured FDR Park in south Philadelphia, part of her congressional district, and was walking alone back to her 2017 Acura MDX.

She had been there for a work meeting, her office said.

A dark-coloured SUV approached, and two armed males inside demanded her keys and belongings.

“She’s Philly tough so I know she will be ok!” tweeted fellow Democratic Philadelphia congressman Brendan Boyle.

Philadelphia has witnessed an 80% increase in carjackings in 2021, according to CBS News.

Gunpoint robberies are up 27% compared with 2020 in the place known as the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia has also seen a record 544 homicides this year, up from 347 in all of 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mrs Scanlon, who joined Congress in 2018, has co-sponsored a police reform bill to dispatch mental health professional to certain 911 incidents “in lieu of law enforcement officers”.

Her robbery in Philadelphia comes just 24 hours after another US lawmaker was carjacked at gunpoint in a suburb of Chicago.

Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat, and her husband had their Mercedes SUV taken at gunpoint on Tuesday night, police say.