By Joe Johnson
Crews from the so-called Felony Lane Gang are believed to be responsible for breaking into numerous vehicles over the past three months, according to Athens-Clarke County police.
The gang, which is based somewhere out of state sends out crews that break into vehicles containing unattended purses, according to published reports from across the country.
They target parking lots of businesses that are frequented by females who are known to leave purses unattended in their vehicles.
The thieves then use stolen bank cards to purchase gift cards at grocery stores and use stolen identity documents to forge checks, which they cash at banks, “using the teller lane with the least visibility -- the felony lane," Athens-Clarke County police Detective Nathaniel Franco said.
A Felony Lane Gang Task Force Facebook page was established so that law enforcement agencies can post photos of suspects and interact with the public.
Franco said he suspects members of a Felony Lane Gang crew were responsible for seven vehicle break-ins that occurred in a two-hour period Monday night, in which most of the vehicles were entered by having their windows smashed out.
All the incidents occurred in the parking lots of fitness centers, a daycare center and a grocery store along Atlanta Highway.
Athens-Clarke police on Thursday posted photos of three suspected members of an FLG crew, who were last seen in a 2019 or 2020 GMC Acadia.
Members of another FLG crew was suspected of breaking into vehicles in multiple county parks in September, Franco said.
“Those suspects then used the checks and identification cards of our victims to cash fraudulent checks at banks in Georgia and South Carolina,” the detective said.
Police asked that anyone with information about the suspects to contact Franco at (762) 400-7100.