A Philadelphia mother used a phone app to track her car after a man threatened her daughter with a gun and stole the vehicle, federal officials said.
Amir Harvey, 20, was arrested and charged with carjacking and possession of a firearm in connection with a Sept. 19 incident, according to a Sept. 29 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. No attorney has been listed for him.
It happened in the early hours as a mother and her 14-year-old daughter were about to leave for school, an affidavit said. Before leaving the house, the mom used her phone to turn on her 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, which was parked in the driveway of the house.
As the mother put a bag in the back seat of the car, she heard her daughter scream, according to the affidavit. When the 14-year-old approached the passenger door of the car, Harvey slipped up behind her and put a handgun with a “drum” style magazine to her head, according to the document. The girl “dropped her backpack and ran across the street to a neighbor’s house.”
Harvey then ran directly at the mother, pointing the gun at her head, according to the affidavit. As he approached, she dropped her purse, which contained her keys, and put her hands above her head. He then grabbed his purse and drove off, the document says.
After calling the police, the mother used the Hyundai app on her phone to track the location of her car. With that information, police located the unoccupied stolen car about 2.6 miles from the house, the affidavit states.
Investigators used neighborhood watch footage to identify and locate Harvey.
“Through the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force, we continue to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for the series of carjackings we have seen in Philadelphia in recent months,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero. in the press release. “As alleged, this defendant threatened the lives of a mother and daughter who were going about their daily morning business. Carjacking is not a fun game or pastime, it is a federal crime serious with serious consequences.
During the investigation, officials also linked Harvey to a restaurant robbery earlier in September.
On September 9, four men robbed Hook and Reel, a restaurant in northeast Philadelphia, according to court documents. Armed with handguns, the men stole approximately $400 from the cash register and ransacked the restaurant office.
Using surveillance footage and interviews with witnesses, police were able to identify Harvey as one of the suspects involved in the robbery, according to the affidavit. Harvey was a restaurant employee until April.
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