St. Petersburg Police detectives have been tracking a number of cases involving a highly-organized auto burglary group known as the “Felony Lane Gang.” According to police, the group uses rental cars, mostly out of South Florida, to stake out local parks, gyms and schools.
They wait for women, in most cases, to park their cars and leave without their purses. Then, they smash the glass and grab the purses. Weeks after the initial hit, the women learn they are victims of identity theft as the thieves use their credit cards and try to cash checks.
Police are urging women to take their purses with them, even if it’s to pick-up a child in a school for a few minutes.
They’re known as the “Felony Lane Gang” because they use drive-thru bank lanes farthest from security cameras and tellers to pass their stolen checks.
Detectives have had 18 cases in St. Petersburg since August 1. The crimes occurred in various parts of the city, including Walter Fuller Park and Jungle Prada Park.
This is a group that operates in other states as well.
Ladies don't leave purses in your car! #StPetepd warns about a group known as “Felony Lane Gang” targeting women for ID theft.
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) September 30, 2014