Five people are under arrest and facing charges after Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon; a very high profile example of how the city’s soft-on-crime policies are putting people at risk.
Scanlon’s carjacking happened in broad daylight at a city park where the congresswoman had been at a meeting. Two men, both allegedly armed, strolled up and demanded the keys to her Acura before speeding away. On Wednesday evening, authorities discovered the vehicle with several occupants inside.
Scanlon’s Acura was found at a shopping center in Newark, Delaware, around 9 p.m., and five people inside it were taken into custody, Delaware State Police said.
They were not immediately identified. The investigation is ongoing, and additional details will be released once they are available, state police said.
During the robbery in Philadelphia, several personal and work items were also taken with the vehicle.
“I am relieved that Congresswoman Scanlon was not physically injured, and my thoughts are with her during this difficult time,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said earlier that his office was working with police to find the robbers.
“I am extremely grateful that Congresswoman Scanlon and an aide who was accompanying her were not physically harmed today,” Krasner said.
I’m very interested to see if any of the suspects in this case have previous criminal histories in Philly, especially given Krasner’s attempt to make it sound like his office was integral to finding the suspects. Krasner’s come under fire recently for disputing the idea that the city is in the midst of a crime crisis, and as John Sexton recently pointed out at HotAir, the District Attorney is also rightfully being hammered for the constant turnover inside the office and the impact that it’s having on prosecutions.
Over the past year 73% of the 21,000 cases the office has handled were withdrawn by prosecutors or dismissed by a judge. That’s compared to 36% of cases that were withdrawn or dismissed in 2017 before Krasner took over.
“The DA’s Office is completely ill-equipped to prosecute serious cases outside a handful of prosecutors. They don’t have the experience. They don’t have the talent, and they don’t have the numbers to prosecute all the cases they need to,” said Shuaiyb Newton, a former homicide prosecutor…
“He wasn’t really trying to prosecute. He was trying to indoctrinate,” said Newton, who was initially intrigued by Krasner’s pitch for more equitable justice in communities like North Philadelphia, where Newton grew up. By the time he quit in 2020, he said, he came to believe Krasner was more interested in protecting defendants than crime victims and everyday citizens. “He would hire people that didn’t think anybody belonged in jail at all. Why are you a prosecutor? He hired people who would cry after convicting someone.”
Philadelphia’s decline can’t be laid entirely at Krasner’s feet, but when almost 3/4ths of the caseload in his office has either been withdrawn by his deputies or dismissed by judges this year, it’s pretty clear that the D.A.’s ideology and incompetence is playing a major role in the increases in many crime categories across the city.
Philadelphia has seen a record 544 homicides so far this year, up from 347 in the entirety of 2019. Police have recorded some 1,785 nonfatal shootings this year. More than 84% of the victims of the gun violence in 2021 were black, according to the Philadelphia Office of the Controller.
Police data also shows some 2,283 gun robberies as of Dec. 19, a 28.6% increase over the same period last year. Retail theft is up more than 20% this year, and auto theft more than 15%, with nearly 11,000 vehicles stolen.
… The crime surge is a direct result of Mr. Krasner’s soft-on-criminals policy. He has bragged that the county jail population decreased 40% in his first three years in office. Police data show property crime is up nearly 7% for 2021 compared to 2017, the year before Mr. Krasner became district attorney. But Mr. Krasner’s office has charged only some 3,740 people for property crimes this year, down from 7,500 over the same period of 2017. No wonder criminals feel it’s urban hunting season.
Unfortunately Larry Krasner’s not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact he easily won another term as District Attorney just last month. Should residents be demanding competence and a focus on prosecuting violent offenders from their D.A.? Absolutely, but they shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for results. Instead, I hope that folks in Philly understand that their safety is ultimately their own responsibility, and choose to protect themselves accordingly.