Police say 'Felony Lane' gang responsible for North Texas burglaries

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 11:54 PM

DALLAS - They've come all the way from Florida, with one target in mind. McKinney Police say the so-called "Felony Lane" gang could be operating in North Texas.

The group steals purses in daycare parking lots, and then uses stolen identification to cash checks. So far, Collin, Dallas and Tarrant County moms have been hit the hardest.

McKinney police say victims have been hit at daycare centers. It only takes a few seconds. In most cases, women are leaving their purses in plain view, either on the passenger seat or floor.

Karen Davis took her toddler into a daycare center. When she came out, her purse and another bag with her school books were gone.

"I felt safe in that neighborhood," Davis said. "And, I've never [left my purse] before."

McKinney police first saw a trend at three day-care centers last year. But when they did surveillance, the crimes stopped.

In the last four months, it started again.

"The victims of these burglaries were also being identified as suspects for forgery charges in other cities," said Deputy Chief Scott Brewer of the McKinney Police Department. "And that's what led us to the Felony gang."

The Felony Lane Gang is operating across Texas and the nation. They use the victims’ identify to cash checks or withdraw money at banks. They get their name from felonies they commit while at the bank drive-through lanes.

"[If they're in] the farthest lane out from any drive-through, it's hard for the tellers who sit behind there to see [the thieves] identities," Brewer said.

McKinney police are circulating surveillance video of two people they believe are suspects in two of the recent burglaries. Three other people arrested in Coppell had identification from victims in McKinney and Wylie. Police say there’s an easy way to prevent it.

"It can be as simple as taking your keys, locking your car and hiding your valuables," Brewer said. "And in this set of circumstances, taking those important items with you, so they don't get compromised and don't get stolen."

Some women hide their purses in their trunk. But police say the problem with that is, the burglars may see you do that. And if they do, they’ll just break the window, open the trunk latch and the purse is theirs.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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