Carjackings at Philadelphia gas stations have increased by more than 300% this year compared to 2021, according to a report.
“You got to arm yourself. It’s dangerous out here. It’s wild,” Philadelphia resident Melvin Dunn told WPVI.
There have been 30 armed carjackings at Philadelphia gas stations as of mid-November compared to seven in 2021, according to the news outlet. That marks a nearly 330% increase of such incidents.
“A lot of people leave their cars running and are reaching into their pockets as well. The first thing they start to do after they put their gas pump in their car, they look at their phones and it’s a crime of opportunity,” Philadelphia Police Inspector Charles Layton said, according to WPVI.
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Armed robberies at gas stations have also increased this year. There were 65 armed robberies at gas pumps last year, compared to 69 so far this year – which marks a 6% increase.
Carjackings overall in the City of Brotherly Love have nearly doubled this year compared to 2021, with more than 1,200 carjackings so far this year. The city broke its record for most-recorded carjackings in its history in September when police recorded more than 1,000 carjackings.
“When you get out of the car, lock the door. When you are in your car, lock the door,” Randy Stevens of Nicetown warned in comment to WPVI.
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City officials have condemned the violence, including Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw who called the increase in carjackings “not normal.”
Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney has repeatedly said crime is one of his top concerns, but pinned blame on “lurid press headlines” in a recent op-ed published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Perception matters, so let me begin by assuring our citizens that I am eager to lead this fight,” he wrote in the op-ed of crime. “Let there be no misunderstanding: Having been resoundingly elected twice as mayor by the citizens of Philadelphia is the greatest honor of my life, and I consider it a privilege to work every day from now until the end of my term in January 2024 to improve the lives of my fellow Philadelphians.”
G3 Box News Digital reached out to Kenney’s office for comment on carjackings at gas stations but did not immediately receive a response.
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Last week, Pennsylvania’s Republican-led House impeached the city’s district attorney, Larry Krasner, charging that his policies have led to the city’s historic crime spikes.
“His lack of proper leadership serves as a direct and proximate cause of the crisis currently facing the city of Philadelphia,” states House Resolution No. 240, which called for Krasner’s impeachment.
Krasner slammed the impeachment vote as not showing a “shred of evidence connecting our policies to any uptick in crime.”
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“We were never given the opportunity to defend our ideas and policies — policies I would have been proud to explain,” he added. “That Pennsylvania Republicans willfully avoided hearing the facts about my office is shameful.”