GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The "Felony Lane Gang" is a name that will grab your attention - almost as fast as they'll grab your stuff, and bounce!
They've been known to start in Florida, and use rental cars, working their way up the east coast. Now, Guilford County Sheriff's Office and other local agencies are warning about these calculated criminals are in our area after an increase of smash-and-grab break-ins to cars parked at gyms, golf courses, and parks.
Once the Felony Lane Gang finds your purse or wallet - sitting out in plain sight - they'll smash the window of a locked car, leaving with your stuff in seconds.
Once they have IDs, cards, checks, investigators say they head to what's known as the "Felony Lane" at the bank. It's the far lane where the teller might not be able to clearly see who's driving. Sometimes, the suspect will even wear a wig or other disguise.
The Guilford County Sheriff's Office says that was the case for one woman parked at the Jamestown YMCA. Thieves smashed her window and stole her purse. The next day, investigators say a woman used the victim's stolen cards at a bank in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Deputies say the Felony Lane Gang will also use stolen cards to immediately buy gift cards. Investigators say these men did that at a High Point Walmart after a smash-and-grab at Gibson Park.
Investigators say the Felony Lane Gang has also targeted cars at Jamestown Park and Golf Course and Northeast Park.
So, what can you do? Beyond just locking your car, deputies urge you to hide your stuff or put it in the trunk before you get to your destination. And as always, report suspicious activity to police.
Police say these crimes are very calculated and admit they're hard to catch because it's a widespread network. So while someone might be smashing your windows and searching your car, someone else might be trying to cash in at the bank.