Suspect detained & charged day after armed carjacking of congresswoman
A 19-year-old man has been charged with carjacking and firearms offenses after Pennsylvania Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon had her car stolen at gunpoint by a group of teenagers.
US Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced on Thursday that Josiah Brown had been charged for the carjacking, which took place in Philadelphia the day before. If found guilty, Brown could be sentenced to life in prison.
Williams said in a statement that the investigation was “in its very initial stages” and that officials would “evaluate charging decisions.”
“Armed carjacking is a serious federal crime. There have been a rash of violent crimes like this recently, and while there were national security implications to this particular incident, we are always working collaboratively with our local partners to evaluate if cases should be taken federally,” she said.
According to the Department of Justice, Scanlon’s stolen 2017 Acura MDX contained tracking equipment and the vehicle was soon found by law enforcement officers. The keys to the car were found in Brown’s possession and four others – aged between 13 and 16 – were also arrested.
Jacqueline Maguire, the special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Philadelphia Division, said in her own statement that anyone who is “willing to victimize a total stranger at gunpoint,” especially “in broad daylight” is a “clear threat to our community.”
“No one who lives, works, or visits here should have to fear violent criminals targeting them for their vehicle or any other possessions,” Maguire continued, concluding, “We will never cede this city to criminals who have total disregard for the lives and safety of others.”