Germantown woman charged with torching 2 cop cars outside City Hall during unrest

Kristen Johanson
June 17, 2020 - 3:39 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia woman has been charged with arson for torching two police cars during the first night of rioting and looting in Center City, sparked from the death of Black Minneapolis man George Floyd nearly three weeks ago. 

Federal authorities were able to identify the woman based on her accounts on online clothing sites, a massage video, and a tattoo. 

Officials say 33-year-old Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal from Germantown is the woman captured on camera setting fire to two Philadelphia police cars near City Hall on May 30.

According to the criminal complaint, a federal investigator was watching an aerial video feed and saw a woman in a light-blue shirt and goggles throw a flame into one of the cars — which was already vandalized.

Philadelphia rioting
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia rioting
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Investigators later discovered photos from an Instagram account of the woman tossing the flame. 

Authorities tracked her specific T-shirt — which read, “KEEP THE IMMIGRANTS, DEPORT THE RACISTS” — to one sold on Etsy, an e-commerce site for selling crafty or handmade items.

A Philly buyer commented on the T-shirt seller’s page. An agent then tracked the buyer’s username — “alleycatlore” — to one on the used clothing marketplace Poshmark. 

The account was further traced it to a LinkedIn page, then a video advertisement for a massage therapy business — eventually, authorities identified Blumenthal by matching her peace sign tattoo among the various images.

Blumenthal remains in prison and faces up to a decade behind bars and $250,000 in fines.  

Her attorney, Paul Hetznecker, questioned why federal authorities are bringing charges, when traditionally the defendant would be charged by local authorities. 

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said arson is a federal charge.