Plano police warn of gang stealing purses in smash-and-grab heists

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM

PLANO -- They're known for hanging around gyms, day cares, and shopping malls, waiting for people to quickly run inside and leave their purse or wallet behind.

The Felony Lane Gang is based primarily in South Florida and travels across the U.S. using stolen checks and ID's to empty bank accounts.

Plano police released surveillance video of suspects belonging to the Felony Lane Gang. The video shows them parking their car in different spots in a parking lot. Police say they are looking for victims.

“It’s a matter of eight-to-ten seconds, and they can get this done," said Officer David Tilley with the Plano police.

Police say the usual tactics of taking your keys, locking your vehicle and hiding any valuables you leave behind doesn't work with this group, because they are watching and waiting.

“They see you get out of car. They see you without your purse," Tilley said.

Police say they smash the windows, grab the purse, and are gone.

Plano police report they've had more than a hundred reported cases this year, and all of the victims are women.

Earlier this week, an officer spotted a suspect in the parking lot of a Plano tennis club.

“One of the officers had actually seen an individual standing between cars at local tennis center wearing gloves," Tilley said. "It's pretty hot outside to be wearing gloves."

When the suspect spotted the officer, he took off. The officer followed him. Eventually, officers arrested three men. Police say inside their vehicle there were items stolen from the tennis club.

The men have been charged with organized crime.

So far this year, Plano has arrested nine suspects all believed to be men from Florida and part of the Felony Lane Gang.

“We are making a dent, but this is a large group and they are going to continue to come back," Tilley said.

Police are asking women not to leave their purses in the car to take the opportunity away from the suspects.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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