St. Louis County police reported at least four recent vehicle break-ins linked to a sophisticated ID theft network from out of state. The group cashes checks from stolen purses and wallets. Those valuables are often left in plain sight in parked vehicles, Officer Benjamin Granda said.
“You’re much more likely to take your family to the park in the summer and leave a purse or a wallet in your car while you enjoy the day,” he said.
The criminals are members of a group commonly referred to as the Felony Lane Gang. “Felony Lane” refers to the outermost lane used at bank drive-thrus, making it more difficult for tellers to spot criminals in disguise.
The gang has hit various communities in the summer, primarily in the west St. Louis County and Wildwood area.
Police say the simple step of hiding purses and wallets can help the public avoid falling victim.
“People are just complacent and they think that they’re fine based on the zip code or whatever else they’re in. That’s not the case. Because these individuals target those things specifically,” Granda said. “Parking smart, with valuables out of sight, can pay dividends in the future.”