By Matt Petrillo


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man armed with a machete was captured on surveillance video lurking around a South Philadelphia condo building’s parking lot before attempting to abduct a woman, police say. Surveillance video released Thursday shows the man entering the parking lot of the Hawthorne Lofts on the 1200 block of Fitzwater Street around 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

Police say he was there for over an hour checking vehicles. The suspect was then approached by a 58-year-old woman. That’s when, police say, the man lunged at the woman with the machete and ordered her to get into the car. The victim threw the vehicle keys to the ground and ran away.

Man Armed With Machete Attempts To Abduct Woman, Police Say

Police say the man chased after her but was startled by an incoming vehicle. No one was injured.

“Thankfully no physical injuries to the victim, but what he did is bad enough and we have to make sure he doesn’t re-offend or carry out what he may have been planning on doing,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said.

“Just having a machete walking around in the neighborhood is a pretty scary thing,” Ryan Forman said.

But people who live by 12th and Fitzwater Streets are keeping their heads on a swivel after learning about the near-abduction.

“I’m shocked,” Melissa Smith said. “This is a pretty safe neighborhood.”

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People who live nearby hope someone recognizes the man and tells police who he is.

“That’s gotta be terrifying,” Nathan Stint said. “He’s got a machete. If he’s approaching somebody in the dark in a fenced-in area here, I don’t know what I would tell them but I hope that they find him and they rectify it.”

Police are asking residents not to approach the man if you see him. If you have any information on this suspect or incident, contact police at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP or 773847. All tips are will be confidential.