Phila. police: carjacking spree targets women

SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA - October 4, 2011

Sari Lam was getting into her white Lexus in the 6800 block of Chester Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. She was heading to work when the carjackers approached.

"The guy came out of nowhere, had a gun pointed right at me and said, 'Get out of the car,'" Lam told Action News.

But the diminuitive woman fought back, holding her ground, unwilling to give up her car.

"He was like, 'Get out of the car before I shoot you.' I'm like, 'I'm not.' So he hit me, he pulled the first swing and I just hit him back. We were just wrestling," said Lam.

The carjacker hit her over the head with the gun.. Still she didn't budge.

"My head was swollen, my whole arm was swollen that day. I had a mad headache for a couple of days," said Lam.

Police believe the carjacker is part of a ring targeting drivers in Southwest Philadelphia, Upper Darby, and Lansdowne. They have carjacked or attempted to carjack more than a half dozen people. Most were driving high-end SUVs or sedans.

During several crimes, like in the 6700 block of Guyer in Southwest Philadelphia, the carjackers fired at their victims.

"In all eight cases, they threatened the victims. As of right now, one car has been recovered. It appears they were in an accident in the 2400 block of Island Road after it was stolen on September 28th," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker.

Police warn people to be vigilant about their surroundings, especially when pulling into or away from their homes.

"Everybody's just got to be careful. People are out there you might not know," said Lam.

No one was seriously injured during this spree. In several of the cases the carjackers had African accents. Several years ago, police broke up a Liberian crime ring that would commit similar crimes here then sell the vehicle overseas.

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