PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Five teenagers were charged Thursday after the vehicle stolen at gunpoint in Philadelphia from U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was found in neighboring Delaware, police said.
Scanlon’s blue Acura MDX was located Wednesday night in Newark, Delaware, about 45 miles (74 kilometers) from Philadelphia, Delaware State Police said. The five were apprehended as they tried to flee, police said.
Scanlon, a Democrat, was walking to her parked vehicle after a meeting in the city’s FDR Park shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday when two armed men demanded her keys, police said. She handed them over, and one drove off in the car while the other followed in a dark sport utility vehicle, police said.
Scanlon was physically unharmed, said her spokesperson, Lauren Cox. Several personal and work items were also taken with the vehicle, police said.
There was no indication the teenagers knew who Scanlon was.
The FBI on Thursday charged Josiah Brown, 19, with carjacking, a weapons charge, and aiding and abetting. He has not yet retained a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
According to the criminal complaint, Brown was carrying the keys to Scanlon’s vehicle.
Brown told FBI agents he and two accomplices were driving around Philadelphia when they decided to steal a car and spotted Scanlon. Brown claimed he was carrying an unloaded firearm, which was used to intimidate the congresswoman into handing over her keys, the FBI said in the complaint.
The FBI said Brown “provided a written apology to the victim, indicating that he was sorry for stealing the car and for pointing a gun at her.”
A 14-year-old female and three males, ages 13, 15, and 16, were each charged with receiving stolen property. The 15-year-old was also charged with resisting arrest and criminal mischief. Their names were not released because they are juveniles.
All the juveniles were released to their parents or guardians, while the 15-year-old was taken to a detention center, police said.
All the suspects are from Wilmington, Delaware.
Scanlon, whose district includes portions of south Philadelphia and neighboring Delaware County, was among elected officials meeting to discuss constituent concerns around ongoing development plans for the park, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Scanlon’s office said she expressed gratitude to city police for their quick response and to her local police department and the Sergeant at Arms in Washington for working with Philadelphia police “to ensure her continued safety.”
Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “appalled to learn of this violent crime” against the congresswoman, whom he described as his friend and colleague.
“My thoughts are with her during what I’m sure is a traumatic time,” he said in a Twitter post.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly that hasn’t always been the case this year,” Kenney said. “It’s disheartening and infuriating that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of peace—one of our city’s parks.”