Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EVERETT– ID Thieves from Florida Strike the Northwest

The Herald recently published an interesting article about a gang of Florida-based ID thieves who conducted a series of ID thefts in Snohomish County.

The gang is called the Felony Lane Gang. It often drives up to banks using the farthest outside drive up lane to pass checks using false identities. The gang believes that using an outside lane makes them less visible to tellers and surveillance cameras.
The gang was in the area last fall. Several police agencies, including the FBI, and the Everett, Mill Creek and Bothell police departments are conducting investigations based on crimes by this gang. Snohomish County prosecutors have filed felony charges against one gang member who is from Hollywood, Florida.

The gang typically targets park, ball field, community center, gym and day-care center parking lots. These are locations where many people will leave their wallets and purses in their cars.
In a September 2013 case, a Mukilteo woman’s driver’s license was stolen as she dropped off her children at a day-care center. Afterward, someone withdrew $2,400 from her bank. Then, her name and identification were used to cash a $3,407 check from another person’s account at an Everett credit union. The second victim’s checkbook was stolen from the University of Washington hospital.

In a Pierce County case, someone stole a woman’s driver’s license, Social Security card, checkbook and seven credit cards after breaking into her car parked at a YMCA in Gig Harbor. That same day, members of the gang allegedly cashed two checks, one for $990 the other for $996 on the woman’s account at two banks within a 45-minute period. The following day, they cashed a man’s stolen checks making them payable to the woman whose identification that been stolen. The checks were cashed at three banks in a one-hour period totaling almost $3,000.
Deputies and crime prevention professionals often counsel the public not to keep anything visible in their parked vehicles. The way this gang operates should reinforce that advice. They look for easy targets where car drivers have left their wallets or purses un- attended. They look for those targets in places where drivers are most likely to leave those items in their cars. Often victims will run into a convenience store or day-care center for “just a minute” only to return to their car to find their wallet or purse stolen.

While this gang has apparently left the Puget Sound region, others use similar methods to steal people’s identities from their cars.
The article quotes Mukilteo detective Nicole Stone as warning:

‘ “Never leave your purse or wallet in your car,” she said. “I don't care if it's locked, unlocked or even if you have a car alarm. It only takes seconds.” ‘
For more details about this gang, go to:

The Herald-

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