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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A manhunt is ongoing for the gunman wanted in the terrifying carjacking of a student near Saint Joseph’s University. Philadelphia police say it may all be part of a disturbing pattern.
According to police, the carjacking took place at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday on the 5300 block of Wynnefield Avenue, when a Saint Joe’s student was approached by a man carrying a gun.
Police say the man asked for the victim’s keys, wallet and phone before the victim drove around with the gunman for about 20 minutes. The student was then able to escape on 52nd Street and Drexel Road.
The car was then left and found by police a short distance away.
James Patterson was sitting in his family room when he heard frantic banging on his window from the student.
“He indicated through the window he was carjacked or robbed,” said Patterson.
Patterson called police and tried to calm the man down.
Police say this an escalation of similar crimes in the area over the span of several weeks.
“We seem to be looking at a pattern here, that’s something detectives will look to see if they’re connected,” said Philadelphia Police Capt. John Stanford. “Whether you have one individual, two individuals or some sort of ring that’s happening here.”
Residents in the area are concerned.
“That’s devastating. That stuff doesn’t happen in this neighborhood. It’s shocking and surprising to hear that,” said Rodney Tyson.
“The only thing we can do is tell people to mind their surroundings, to be alert,” said Michael Reid of the Wynnefield Residents Association.
Police are still searching for the suspect or suspects and the gun involved.