Josiah Brown, 19, was arrested and charged within 24 hours after threatening and robbing Congressman Mary Gay Scanlon’s car with a gun.
On the afternoon of December 22, when Democratic Congressman Mary Gay Scanlon walked to the parking lot of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two men approached with guns and demanded her to hand over car key.
Ms. Scanlon handed over the keys to Acura MDX. One suspect got in the car and drove away, while the other suspect also fled in a black SUV. The congresswoman was not injured in the robbery, and there is no sign that the suspect knew who Scanlon was.
The local police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) immediately intervened. On the evening of December 22, they found Ms. Scanlon’s car in the Newark, Delaware area, about 74 kilometers from the place where the robbery occurred. The police also arrested five suspects who tried to escape.
On December 23, all five suspects were accused of using carjacking weapons. Among them, 19-year-old Josiah Brown was identified by the FBI because he was the one who threatened Scanlon with a gun and was stolen from the car. .
According to the FBI, Brown testified that when they discovered Scanlon, he and two of his accomplices were driving near Philadelphia looking for a target. Brown held an unloaded gun, used it to threaten a congresswoman, and then stole her car. Brown has “issued a written apology, expressing regret for stealing the car and pointing a gun at Scanlon.”
The police did not disclose the identity of the remaining four suspects, who were between 13 and 16 years old because they were underage. They released 3 suspects and returned to their parents or guardians. Only the 15-year-old suspect was taken to the detention center.
Scanlon is a member of Congress representing the southern district of Philadelphia and Delaware County. At a press conference on December 23, she admitted that “a terrible incident had occurred” and thanked no one was injured. She explained that she decided to give the car keys to the robbers because she was “fear that someone would do something stupid than robbing the car.”
America president Joe Biden Call her after the robbery. “When I received a call from the president, I was very moved,” she said, thanking the Philadelphia police for their prompt investigation.
The mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenny, was shocked by the robbery and sympathized with Scanlon. “Everyone should be safe in our city,” he said. “Criminals dare to commit such a reckless crime in a peaceful place in broad daylight, which is disappointing and angry.”
The scandal congressman’s car robbery case was resolved in less than 24 hours, but not all cases are in this context. Police forces in many parts of the United States are facing overloads due to lack of manpower and funds. The Portland Police Department in Oregon admitted in early December that it was unable to process all reports of car thefts because it was not considered a priority in the current manpower shortage.
Hong Han (follow Associated Press)