An increase in violent car thefts in Philadelphia has seen more than 400 thefts in 2022 alone.
In one case, a woman was shot at Philadelphia Mills. In another, a teenager was shot outside his home.
One victim, Marissa Briggs, described the time she was abducted.
She said, “They both had guns, pistols, and they both aimed at me. I also had a knife.
“They were looking for ATMs to empty my account.
“So they checked my things, my wallet, took out my debit card, my credit card.”
Two teenagers, aged 19 and 17, were arrested in connection with the crime, ABC reported last month.
Philadelphia Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said: “This arrest has made us connect with many other cases.
“Both of them have been charged with numerous counts of theft, car theft, aggravated assault, felony assault, armed robbery and attempted robbery.”
In another incident, police say a woman was thrown from her vehicle and hit with a bat by two attackers.
A third alleged car theft has resulted in the death of 15-year-old Sean Toomey, Fox 29 reports.
He was unloading groceries from his father’s car when he was shot, police said.
And in March, police arrested three other men believed to be linked to the shooting death of a car theft victim.
NBC reports that George Briscella, 60, was killed during the crime while visiting his mother.
Then came terrifying images of the moment a taxi driver was whipped with a gun in another alleged car theft.
And earlier this month, Raheem Bell was seriously injured after being pulled out of his car and shot during an attempted robbery, police said.
Aunt Leslie Bey told CBS, “People are afraid to go out. They’re afraid to drive their car, you don’t know what to do.”
An expert has attributed the increase in crime to Covid-19.
Former Deputy Commissioner Joseph Sullivan told Fox News: “We definitely saw a rise after the crown.”
The city had already broken records for car theft in 2021, with an 85% increase in crime over the previous year.
There were 840 car thefts in the 2021 figures shown; the average between 2010 and 2019 was 230 each year.
The district attorney’s office said, “We know very little about who and why of most car thefts in Philadelphia because so few result in arrests.”
But Sullivan added: “Schools are closed: recreation centers, sports programs, extracurricular activities.
“These kinds of programs are really vital because they are among the most depressed areas with few opportunities for young people. »
Jacqueline Maguire, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI, told Fox 29: “The wave of car thefts we’ve seen in and around Philadelphia is unacceptable.
“We just won’t tolerate criminals terrorizing innocent people like this.”
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