Police: Smash-and-grab burglaries linked to ‘Felony Lane Gang’

Posted: Updated:

Police say that a recent string of smash-and-grab burglaries in Monmouth County could be linked to a nationwide theft ring.

Howell police say that three car burglaries happened at Deerwood Park this past weekend. They say that while parents were watching their children play, someone smashed car windows and stole bags and money left inside. A fourth incident happened shortly after at a nearby Gold’s Gym on Route 9. Police say that they believe that the crimes are all connected.

“The suspect vehicle in the Gold’s Gym [burglary] was a black Cadillac Escalade,” says Howell police Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez. “We are confident that it was the same vehicle used in the sports complex.”

Police in Freehold and Wall have also reported similar crimes. Investigators believe that all of the thefts are linked to the so-called “Felony Lane Gang” – a nationwide crime ring that that the FBI has its eyes on.

“They target women because women tend to leave purses in their vehicles, as opposed to men who keep their wallets in their pockets,” Antunez says. “If they see a purse or wallet…they smash the window…and they use the credit cards or checks that are inside the vehicle fraudulently.”

The thieves often use wigs and other disguises to better match the look of the theft victim. Police say that the group is called the “Felony Lane Gang” because when they use stolen items at a bank they usually use the furthest drive-thru lane, so a teller can't see them as well.

“A lot of times they can be coming in from different states or other locations and they try do as much damage as quickly as possible and get out,” Antunez says.

Police say that people should never leave a purse, wallet or anything of value inside their vehicles unattended.

Anyone who might have additional information about the thefts should contact their local police department.

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