AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Felony Lane Gang, a Florida-based crime ring, is back in Austin targeting women as they drop off their children at day cares, and others as they head to the gym.
Austin police detectives currently have 24 cases linked to the group. Several other law enforcement agencies in North Texas are also working cases linked to the organized crime ring.
Members of the ring are known to rent vehicles and drive to Texas, or pick up a vehicle after flying into the state. They seek out day cares and fitness centers and burglarize the cars once the women go inside.
“They were so prolific because (victims) would made it so available for them, it wasn’t very hard…that’s why they called Austin the ‘sweet spot’,” said Det. Jared Manning. “I guess the main thing we want to take away from this is don’t give somebody the opportunity to take your stuff. Lock it up before you get to a location.”
The criminals then forge personal checks and attempt to cash them at local banks using the victims’ driver’s license as identification. Police say the suspects are consistently cashing stolen checks between $1,800 and $1,900.
On Aug. 14, three suspects were arrested after police said they burglarized several vehicles at multiple day cares. Detectives were able to track the group to a store in Southeast Austin. Once the suspects spotted police they attempted to flee. The three were arrested a short time later after crashing their car.