BEE CAVE, Texas (KXAN) – Credit cards, purses, and checkbooks were just some of the items being unloaded out of a Ford Fusion during a high-speed chase, according to Bee Cave Police.
Two collisions and a foot pursuit later, they believe it may have all been connected to a Florida gang known for traveling the country and breaking into cars.
“They have the same M.O. Breaking windows, smash and grabs, taking things and they are gone before people know they are hit,” said Sgt. William Pitmon. He thinks two men who led officers on the chase are connected to the Felony Lane Gang.
The chase began around 7 p.m. on Thursday when officers tried to stop the Ford Fusion on a traffic violation. From there, Pitmon said the vehicle tried to get away from officers and although police terminated the pursuit in the interest of public safety, the suspects collided with two other vehicles on Ranch Road 620.
After the second collision near 620 and Bee Cave Parkway, both men got out and tried to run on foot according to Pitmon.
Michael Lamar Lee, 24, was found hiding in a brushy area. Police say he has a Florida driver license and a rental car agreement shows he had been in the area for approximately a week.
The other man was never found although police believe he got away barefoot and suffered a serious head injury based on damage in the car.
Police collected the items off the street and they are now sitting in evidence bags at Bee Cave Police Department headquarters while Pitmon tries to get them back into the right hands.
“For every item we can find and match-up to a victim, that is another case on this individual,” said Pitmon.
The Felony Lane Gang is a Florida group known to operate by flying into other states, renting a car, and then switching the license plate on the rental. They then attempt several “smash and grab” car burglaries before flying back with the stolen items.
“They target parks, gym parking lots, baseball fields, because they know women will not carry purses into those places,” said Pitmon.
Based on the amount of evidence collected off the street, Pitmon thinks more than 20 cars were burglarized. On Friday, between 10-15 victims came to the department trying to find their stolen property.
The Felony Lane Gang is a familiar name to police in Central Texas. In February 2013 Rollingwood police arrested two men who were stealing purses. During that time Austin police reported 940 people had something stolen as a result of this gang.
Pitmon said Lee is not talking to police and they are still searching for the driver.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Bee Cave Police Department at (512) 767-6650.