PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are searching for armed carjackers who targeted a mother and daughter as they were picking up a child from school.
The two were waiting for another student along the 1000 block of West Luzerne Street just after the last bell rang at Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls on Tuesday afternoon.
They were approached in their car by two men who got out of a silver SUV wearing dark clothing and ski masks.
The armed robbers, one of them pointing a rifle, forced the mother and daughter out of their car and took off in it.
Parents of Little Flower students were notified of the incident by a letter.
"Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I can't imagine what they went through and, you know, the after-effects of that," said Melissa Theron, the mother of a student.
Parents say that particular stretch of West Luzerne Street is known for criminal activity.
"There's also prostitution going on here, I'm very concerned," said Loretta Savage, who was picking her granddaughter up from school Friday afternoon.
Family members retrieving their students from classes on Friday were frustrated and scared.
"I just really hope the school can beef up security. I worry about the kids as they start their afterschool activities, and they're getting out later and it's starting to get dark earlier," said Theron.
The principal of Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls released this statement about the incident:
"I am writing to share information about a serious safety matter pertaining to our school community that took place yesterday afternoon following dismissal on West Luzerne Street. At 3:11 p.m. a parent and a student were waiting in a parked vehicle for another Little Flower student at that location.
At that time, two men exited a vehicle traveling eastbound threatened the parent and student with a weapon and stole their vehicle. Thankfully, no one sustained physical injuries. The Philadelphia Police Department was contacted immediately and arrived on scene within minutes. We are grateful for the swift response of law enforcement. Little Flower's security cameras captured the event on video and provided all available footage to the police.
The safety and security of the young women entrusted to our care is always our first priority. On an ongoing basis, we have been vigilant in our work with the 25th Precinct, along with local and elected officials to ensure that Little Flower remains safe. As recently as last Friday, we worked with Councilman Darrell Clarke's office to express our concern about the recent uptick in crime, vagrancy and dumping on West Luzerne Street. These efforts can only be aided by adding your voice to this plea so that Little Flower remains safe.
At this time, we are working to deploy additional security personnel, especially at dismissal, to ensure our students and staff can safely exit from school. Additionally, we are actively seeking to create a distinct entrance and exit from the back parking lot to provide a smoother and more secure traffic flow.
We thank you for trusting your daughter's education to us at Little Flower."