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Protect Your Purse!

posted Aug 21, 2014, 3:32 PM by Rob King

Folks,

               We are seeing some indications that a group we call the “Florida Felony Lane Gang” is back in town. This group (originating in Florida) travels across the country breaking into cars to steal women’s purses. They then use the checks and ID in the purses to drain a bank account through the use of wigs and disguises to make one member look like the account holder (usually based on Driver’s License pictures). They then go to a bank, using the farthest drive up lane away from the teller (known to bankers as the felony lane), pretend to be the account holder and cash large checks.

               This group is very prolific and comes through Central Arkansas 2-3 times a year. We have arrested a number of their members, but they seem to readily replenish their ranks. They generally target cars at shopping centers, gyms or fitness centers, parks, etc. We have seen multiple cases where they target joggers at the Big Dam Bridge and Two Rivers Park.

               They generally use upscale rental cars from out of state, particularly Mercedes Benz Sport Utility Vehicles with extremely dark window tint.

               We think they are back in the area, so please follow a couple of guidelines:

 

1.      Don’t leave your purse in your car. Not in the passenger compartment and not in the rear cargo area. These folks watch women park their cars and then hit the car after the owner is inside and out of sight. If they see a woman put her purse in the rear cargo area, they will go there.

2.      Unlike most car burglars, these folks are not afraid to break windows as they are generally out of the area within seconds of the break-in. Just locking your car doesn’t stop them.

3.      Take your purse with you and keep it close, don’t leave it in the shopping cart while you are two aisles over looking at merchandise.

4.      If your purse is stolen, call 911 immediately and then notify your bank. These thieves will hit in 20 or 30 minutes sometimes after stealing a purse.

 

If we get some pictures of these people’s vehicles, I’ll get that out to you.

 

As always, if you see someone acting suspiciously, please call the police.

 

Lt. Scott Timmons

LRPD NW Division

501-918-3506

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