Kelly Drive crime: Recent incidents have some Philadelphia residents on edge

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Crime is on the rise on Kelly Drive, with Philadelphia police cruisers frequently queuing along the Schuylkill River.

Recent crimes include a string of auto thefts and most recently a murder investigation.

Just after 6 a.m. Saturday at the 2400 block of Kelly Drive, police said a 31-year-old man was fatally shot once in the back of the head.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say no arrests have been made and no weapon has been seized.

The investigations are ongoing and active with the homicide squad.
Action News spoke to people who say they’re frustrated they can’t come here to enjoy a peaceful day by the river without worrying about gun violence.

“The place I used to love to come to isn’t as safe as it used to be,” said Jeffrey Johnson of West Philadelphia.

All of this comes after a string of recent carjackings. Central Detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department are investigating five suspected auto thefts along Kelly Drive from June 27 to July 15.

Police say that around 12:30 am on June 27 at the 2300 block of Kelly Drive on the Ashwin Trail, a 33-year-old man was sitting on a bench when a silver SUV pulled up in front of him.

Two men armed with firearms got out of the SUV and demanded the man’s belongings, according to police. The men took the man’s gun and fled in his vehicle, followed by the silver SUV.

The vehicle was tracked and recovered at the 2300 block of Gratz Street. The man is missing his other firearm, from his car, and a bulletproof vest.

Also on June 27 at around 9:45 p.m., police said a 37-year-old woman was sitting in her car on the 900 block of Kelly Drive with a man near Boathouse Row when another man armed with a pistol pulled out of one white SUV got out and ordered the woman out of the vehicle.

According to police, the man slapped the woman in the face and fled in her vehicle, followed by the white SUV. The vehicle was found at the 2200 block of N. Gratz Street.

Then, around 10:20 p.m. on June 29, police said a 22-year-old woman stopped to use the restroom on the 1500 block of Kelly Drive.

Police say as she got out of her car, a 2022 Kia K5, a man armed with a pistol threw her to the ground and fled in her vehicle, followed by a gray SUV, which he exited before the robbery.

On July 10, at approximately 12:15 a.m., two 20-year-old men on the 1100 block of Kelly Drive told police that as they returned to their vehicle after walking Kelly Drive, they noticed a dark-colored SUV parked alongside was parked to them.

The men said a man and a woman armed with handguns got out of the SUV and demanded their belongings. One of the men threw his car keys into the river. The men took a man’s book bag and fled in the dark SUV. No vehicle was stolen.

Police say around 3:45 p.m. on July 15, a 69-year-old man was standing in front of his vehicle on the 800 block of Lemon Hill Drive when he was approached by two men armed with handguns who had just exited a silver Ford Explorer with a paper tag.

According to police, cash was stolen from the man’s pocket. The man told police he was forced to the ground and the men demanded his car keys.

The man told the thieves that the keys were in the car. One of the men then fled in the man’s car, a 2018 Audi Q7, followed by the other man in the silver Ford Explorer.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Kelly Drive crime: Recent incidents have some Philadelphia residents on edge

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