16 Suspected in Felony Lane Gang Thefts Arrested

Theft ring steals purses from women at day cares, tries to cash victims' checks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Surveillance video from Plano police show purse thieves pulling up soon after a woman leaves her car outside a day care. The Felony Lane Gang got its name because members try to cash stolen checks in the far lane of bank drive-thrus -- the so-called "felony lane."

    Sixteen people suspected of belonging to a Florida-based theft ring that targets women who leave their purses in their cars have been arrested in recent weeks.

    Plano police made the arrests after doing surveillance work and working with the FBI.

    The Felony Lane Gang got its name because members try to cash stolen checks in the far lane of bank drive-thrus -- the so-called "felony lane."

    The group is known to target women who leave their vehicle for a few minutes at places like day cares, committing smash-and-grab burglaries to steal their purses. The thieves then dress up like the women and try to use their stolen ID to cash checks in the farthest drive-thru lane.

    The break-ins happen fast in broad daylight and, usually, in busy parking lots.

    "We're still having them at day cares, gyms, post offices," Plano police spokesman David Tilley said.

    Surveillance video from Plano police show suspects pulling up soon after a woman leaves her car outside a day care. They quickly break in and steal her purse, with the entire crime happening in about 10 seconds.

    Police said they were able to make the arrests by doing a lot of intelligence work.

    "If we have information that we have individuals we believe are a part of the Felony Lane Gang, we're doing surveillance on them," Tilley said. "They don't even know we are watching them."

    Despite the 16 arrests, members of the large gang are still out there, police warn.

    "Clearly there's a lot of people around here, and that's just in Plano," Tilley said. "That doesn't include other cities -- Coppell, Frisco and McKinney, Allen -- everyone else getting hit by these individuals."