Florida's "Felony Lane Gang" appears to have made its way up the East Coast. Multiple Maine police departments have been warning residents that the "loosely organized group of criminals" has arrived in the state. The gang breaks into cars, typically targeting women's cars parked at gyms, parks, daycare centers, and the like, where purses are more likely to be left behind. Members steal driver's licenses, debit cards, credit cards, and checkbooks, and then use those items—along with locals they find who look like the victims—to make purchases and cash checks, the Bangor Daily News reports. The Winslow PD warned residents in a Facebook post Monday not to leave purses or other valuables in their cars, and to report the incident to police if they are asked to cash a check for a stranger.
“It is believed that these folks have worked their way up to Maine,” says the police post. Three male alleged members of the gang who were arrested in Florida Friday have also been tied to gang-related car burglaries in Louisiana over the past few weeks, WGNO reports. As for why law enforcement started calling the group the "Felony Lane Gang," police say they tend to use the use the bank drive-through lane farthest away from tellers (the "felony lane") when cashing checks in an effort to hide their identity. WGME reports that the gang has been active for a few years and has made millions from its criminal activity; indeed, recent articles from Oklahoma, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey, and more detail the exploits. (Read more crime stories.)