JANESVILLE — New information from officers suggest the "Felony Lane Gang" suspects have been spotted across the state, including Brookfield and Madison.
Officers say on May 2, a woman's car window was smashed and her purse was stolen. The suspects ended up in Delavan, where they attempted to cash a check. An alert teller delayed the transaction, and the suspects drove off.
Police now say the same females were in the Brookfield area Tuesday afternoon cashing stolen checks. Officers also believe the group had been in Madison around the date of the Janesville incident and are now in the greater Milwaukee/Racine area. Police say similar activity was also recently reported in Fox Valley.
Authorities say the two are in a dark-colored Nissan Altima with a stolen Wisconsin license plate ACY8467.
The "Felony Lane Gang" is a national crime ring that targets women. They stake out busy parking lots and break into cars, and later recruit women who match descriptions of stolen IDs. Those women would then try to cash forged checks from another victim's stolen checkbook. The check is made out to the victim of the stolen ID, so if the check bounces, that victim can turn into a suspect for police.
The name "Felony Lane Gang" comes from the third, and furthest, drive-thru lane at the bank. Criminals use that lane to create some distance between the actual bank teller and themselves, in case the physical description is a little off.
The best way to protect yourself is to leave your purse at home. If you have to bring it, hide the purse in the car before you leave home. And if your purse or wallet is stolen, make sure your bank does more than just cancel your debit card. They should also put an alert on your checking account or freeze it.
If you have any information about the suspects or their vehicle, contact the Janesville Police Department at 608-755-3147.