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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Philadelphia Man Faces Federal Charges for Carjacking Mother and Daughter Outside Northeast Philadelphia Home Before School

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Amir Harvey, 20, of Philadelphia, PA was arrested and charged by Criminal Complaint with carjacking and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with a carjacking incident which occurred in Northeast Philadelphia earlier this month.

As detailed in the Criminal Complaint, in the early morning hours of September 19, 2022, Philadelphia police officers respond to a report of a robbery in progress in the 8900 block of Maxwell Place, where the victim reported that her car had just been stolen by an armed individual as she and her teenage daughter were getting ready to leave to go to school. The victim stated that around 6:15 a.m., she started her vehicle using an application on her cell phone. A short time later, she and her daughter exited their house and walked to the car parked in the driveway in front of their home when they were approached by an armed individual, later identified as the defendant, who pointed a black handgun at their heads. The defendant allegedly took the keys to the vehicle out of the victim’s purse and sped away. The victim used the location tracking feature on her cell phone application and informed police, who responded to its location on the 2000 block of Griffith Street, about 2.5 miles from the victim’s residence. Using neighborhood video surveillance footage, investigators traced the movement of the victim’s vehicle and the defendant to a nearby apartment complex.

“Through the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force, we are continuing to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for the spate of carjackings we have seen in Philadelphia in recent months,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “As alleged, this defendant threatened the lives of a mother and daughter going about their daily morning routine. Carjacking is not game or a fun pastime, it is a serious federal crime with severe consequences.”

“When the Carjacking Task Force was established several months ago, this is exactly the type of crime we set out to investigate,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division.  “As the Indictment alleges, this is a seriously violent crime with the lives of innocent victims being threatened. ATF and our local, state, and federal partners will continue to collaborate and seek justice for the victims of violent gun crimes like this.”

“While we are grateful that this dangerous individual has been taken into custody, the increase in the number of carjackings seen across our city and nation continues to be disturbing,” said Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “Victims of carjackings have been spread across all demographics, and just as alarmingly, the demographics of the offenders have also been the same. Law enforcement refuses to tolerate this criminal behavior; and the PPD, along with our fellow Task Force partners, will not stop until we bring each and every offender to justice.”

The swift action to investigate and federally charge these defendants is the result of the newly formed Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force, which is comprised of members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crime Unit; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Philadelphia Police Department. The goal of the Taskforce is to stem the wave of armed carjackings and violent crimes through investigative and enforcement techniques meant to identify and refer for federal prosecution all who terrorize innocent victims through commission of these offenses within Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Eckert.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA 615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250 Philadelphia, PA 19106 JENNIFER CRANDALL Media Contact 215-861-8300 Follow @USAO_EDPA on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information about big cases and community news.
Updated September 29, 2022