Rep. Henry Cuellar (D., Texas) was carjacked in Washington, D.C.'s Navy Yard neighborhood on Monday evening, his office said.
Cuellar's sushi dinner, phone, iPad, and car were all stolen in the incident, according to the congressman's office. D.C. police said the carjacking occurred around 9:30 p.m.
"As Congressman Cuellar was parking his car this evening, 3 armed assailants approached the congressman and stole his vehicle. Luckily, he was not harmed and is working with local law enforcement. Thank you to Metro PD and Capitol Police for their swift action and for recovering the congressman’s vehicle," Cuellar's chief of staff, Jacob Hochberg, said in a statement.
The armed carjacking took place at the intersection of K Street and New Jersey Avenue, according to an alert from the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, and police are searching for three male suspects.
Cuellar is not the first member of Congress to be impacted by a spike in violent crime in the nation's capital. Rep. Angie Craig (D, Minn.) was attacked in her apartment building on Capitol Hill in February. The suspected assailant had recently been arrested on charges of theft and assaulting a police officer but was released from jail following a plea deal that saw all charges against him dropped, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time.
Homicides in D.C. are on pace this year to reach heights not seen in decades, carjackings in June reached their highest total in years, and robberies are up 65 percent year-over-year, the Free Beacon reported last month. Local lawmakers, including some who have advocated liberal criminal justice reforms in the past, have have responded to the crime wave with legislation meant to limit pre-trial release from jail of repeat violent offenders. But such proposals have faced pushback from the D.C. court system and local media.
(Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru; editing by Christian Schmollinger)