Elderly cancer-stricken woman preyed on by three brazen carjackers

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As carjackings skyrocket in the Philadelphia area, one of the city's latest victims is a cancer-stricken woman who was preyed on by three brazen suspects.

Angela Palumbo says her mother, 78-year-old Angelina Bellisma, was parking the car around the corner from their home on Bancroft Street and Oregon Avenue after unloading groceries when she was attacked in broad daylight.

"I hear a scream, 'Help me, help me!" recalled Palumbo, as her mother was maced, punched and robbed.

" When I saw my mom in a ball crying with her face full of pepper spray, I just lost it. For somebody to come along and just hurt her like that, there's no pain, there's no pain like that," said Palumbo.

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Investigators say carjackings have been skyrocketing, and the suspects committing these crimes have become more fearless.

Minutes before the attack, her home security camera shows Palumbo and her mother unloading groceries from the car. As they're doing this, three women slowly walk into frame, past the driver's side doors.

"I think they might have seen an opportunity, but then I came out so that opportunity went away with that," Palumbo said.

Based on their clothing, Palumbo believes the women are the same suspects who targeted her mother.

Her mother said the women asked for a ride and when she refused, she was attacked and her vehicle was stolen.

Palumbo said her mother had been undergoing cancer treatment. She said the women need to be caught.

"They need to pay for what they did to her because she doesn't deserve this. She just got done cancer radiation, five surgeries and now this," said Palumbo.

Bellisma is among the 68 other victims involved in carjackings since the beginning of the year. Last year, police reported a total of 410 incidents.

"We have seen an uptick, which is odd to see so many carjackings occurring," said Capt. James Kearney of South Detectives. "It turns your stomach."
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