BANGOR, Maine — The Winslow Police Department on Monday posted a Facebook alert about the possible arrival of the Felony Lane Gang in the area.
The Felony Lane Gang is a loosely organized group of criminals from Florida who break into cars and use the victim’s driver’s license, debit cards, credit cards and checks to cash checks at local financial institutions, Winslow police said.
“It is believed that these folks have worked their way up to Maine,” the post said. “These criminals have been termed the Felony Lane Gang, as they prefer to use the furthest drive-up teller at financial institutions in an attempt to make their identification more difficult.”
According to police, the group usually targets the cars of women who park at gyms, fitness centers, parks, day care centers and similar locations in search of driver’s licenses, debit cards and credit cards, which are used to cash checks that are often stolen from cars in other locations. Gang members also are known to recruit local people who resemble the victims to cash these checks.
In addition, police said, the Felony Lane Gang often uses rental cars with tinted windows and fake or stolen license plates that are removed very shortly after they cash the checks.
The women who cash these checks often wear wigs and makeup in an attempt to resemble the person whose driver’s license they are using.
Residents are urged to lock their cars and to avoid leaving purses and other valuables inside.
“Do not confront these individuals and report all suspicious activity to the police,” the post said. “Immediately report to the police if your license plate is stolen or your car is broken into.”
The police also instructed victims to immediately report to their financial institution any theft of a driver’s license, debit card, credit card or check.
Residents also were warned not to agree to cash checks for anyone they don’t know personally and to contact police if asked to cash a check by a stranger.