Carjacking investigations ends in crash outside Lansdowne police station

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Friday, February 2, 2024
Carjacking investigations ends in crash outside Delco police station
Carjacking investigations ends in crash outside Lansdowne police station

LANDSDOWNE BOROUGH, Pa. (WPVI) -- An Upper Darby carjacking ended with a crash outside a police building in Lansdowne Borough, Delaware County early Friday morning.

Following the crash, the front courtyard area of Lansdowne Borough Hall had uprooted plants, crashed street signs, overturned bricks, and muddy tire tracks.

"It's the center of our town and now it's destroyed," said Lansdowne Police Chief Ken Rutherford whose police department is housed at the building on Baltimore Ave. and Lansdowne Ave.

The scenario ended in Lansdowne, but it started a few minutes away in Upper Darby where police say a car accident turned into an attempted carjacking and a shooting.

"It's a lot of turns to it," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt, who explained that the entire scenario unfolded in a matter of about 15 minutes.

Upper Darby police say at about 12:30 a.m., a white Kia sideswiped another car in the 300 block of Richfield Road. The victim followed the car, looking to have a word with the driver when they were stopped at a light at the intersection of Marshall and Hampton roads.

"That's when the rear passenger got out and confronted him and tried to carjack his vehicle and there was an exchange of gunfire," Bernhardt said.

One of those shots hit the alleged carjacker in the back, and authorities said he jumped back into the Kia which sped off. An Upper Darby officer heard the gunfire and called for backup.

"They did try to stop the car and the car wouldn't stop so they were pursuing the car to try to stop the vehicle," said Bernhardt.

That's when the driver of the Kia lost control and crashed.

Police said there were three people inside the white Kia. One is the carjacking suspect who got shot, a 20-year-old man from Colwyn. He was taken to the hospital and is listed as stable. A 15-year-old driver, who is from Darby Borough, was caught by police.

Police have not yet caught the third person, who got away. The Kia they were riding in had been reported stolen, a common problem in Upper Darby and beyond.

"The Kias and Hyundais are stolen all day every day," said Bernhardt.

The victim in this case is a 38-year-old man from Upper Darby. Police don't yet know if he fired the shot that hit the carjacker, but they do say the victim is licensed to carry. Upper Darby police are working with the District Attorney's office to determine charges in the case.

Meantime, Rutherford says it could take months to clean up and repair the damage done in front of Lansdowne's Borough Hall.

"It's very unfortunate," he said.