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US lawmaker carjacked at gunpoint

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on “Online Platforms and Market Power”, in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S. July 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters

Delaware state police have taken into custody five suspects after U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon was robbed of her automobile at gunpoint in a Philadelphia park on Wednesday.

The suspects were located in Scanlon’s vehicle and investigation is underway, the police said, adding that additional details will be released once available.

According to Reuters, Scanlon, a Democrat who represents Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, was unharmed in the mid-afternoon carjacking which occurred following a meeting of elected officials as she walked to her sport utility vehicle.

Two armed men believed to be 20 to 30 years of age approached Scanlon and demanded the keys to her vehicle. One man drove off in her car and the other got into a second SUV and followed as the pair made their getaway, according to police.

Several of Scanlon’s personal and work-related items were taken in the stolen vehicle, police said.

The Philadelphia Police Department was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which assumed the lead in the investigation because the victim is a member of Congress, police said.

In a brief statement posted on Twitter, Scanlon, 62, who has served in the House of Representatives since November 2018, thanked the police department for its “swift response.”

Her spokesperson, Lauren Cox, said the congresswoman had just ended an outdoor meeting with other elected officials at FDR Park in South Philadelphia to discuss plans for future renovations to the area when the carjacking occurred.

Police declined to say whether Scanlon may have been singled out by the carjackers because she was recognised as a politician or public figure.