Known as The Felony Lane Gang because of using the farthest teller window at a drive thru bank, the group recently struck in Delaware County.
During Brookhaven’s recent Council meeting, Police Chief Randy McGoldrick said the TD and Citadel banks were hit, but due to proper teller training, the potential thieves left without stealing any money.
McGoldrick said people should be vigilant and not leave valuables, including wallets and pocketbooks, in cars, especially while working out at the gym.
“This gang is in operation up and down the East Coast,” McGoldrick said. “Usually two of them sit outside the gym and watch men and women, but mostly women go inside. Many women do not bring pocketbooks into the gym because they fear the lockers are not secure. “
McGoldrick said the perpetrators take a center punch, open the car window and grab the purse.
“They don’t go to a bank there at the scene because they run the risk of the bank teller knowing the person on the ID,” McGoldrick said. “Instead, they travel to a close, condensed area with several banks.”
He said they take people’s identification and hire prostitutes to dress in wigs and sunglasses making them look like the person on the driver’s license.
“They are very good at this,” he said. “The bottom line is that when you go to the gym or anywhere, do not leave your pocketbook in plain sight. Put it in the trunk or take it with you.”
McGoldrick said the FBI has made arrests and has been told if the thieves do not see anything in the car, they won’t waste their time.
According to published reports, in most cases, the individuals arrested have South Florida addresses and use rental cars. They have targeted cars not only at gyms, but at funerals, day care centers, supermarkets, and state parks. They are after wallets or purses containing credit and debit cards, and checkbooks.