JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. -- The "Felony Lane Gang" is back in central Indiana after two attempted thefts at day care centers, the Johnson County sheriff said.
The thefts happened at The Goddard School and Adventures Child Care & Learning Center, both in Greenwood, Indiana.
In both instances, vehicle windows were broken, but nothing was stolen.
Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said this likely means the Felony Lane Gang is back in town. In April 2017, the sheriff's department also warned people of the Felony Lane Gang.
The Felony Lane Gang is not a gang, but a group of criminals throughout the United States who break into cars to steal women's purses. The break-ins typically happen in local fitness centers, day cares, and sports complexes. These are places where women go into, but don’t take their purses inside with them, according to the sheriff's department.
"They won’t stop until they get what they want!" Cox said.
In most cases, a “handler” or group leader recruits drug addicts, prostitutes, or the homeless. They rent cars, then travel as a group throughout the United States breaking into vehicles.
The sheriff's office offered the following tips to protect yourself from the Felony Lane Gang:
- Do not leave purses or valuable personal property (firearms, prescription medicine, electronics, handbags, wallets) inside of parked vehicles.
- If you do have valuables or recent purchases in your vehicle, and cannot take them with you, do not leave them in plain view. Store them in the trunk or out of public sight. Do not leave purses in your vehicle, even in your trunk. The perpetrators of these crimes have been known to watch as a purse is put into the truck.
- Always lock your vehicle, whether it is parked in a garage or in your driveway or at a business.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running.
- When at home, park your vehicles in a locked garage, if possible. If you can’t park in a garage, park in a well-lit area.
- Leave your home’s exterior lights on.
- When parking, check that all doors and your trunk are locked and that you have your keys with you.
- Be prepared for the worst. Sometimes, even with all the preparation, a theft can still happen.
- Pay attention to your surroundings when parking or parked. If you see multiple individuals sitting inside of a parked vehicle for longer than would be appropriate at that location, or individuals looking in a vehicle windows. In short, report suspicious activity to police.
- Report any incident where you believe someone has entered your vehicle without permission (i.e.glove box left open or items strewn about the vehicle).
- If you are the victim of a theft from your vehicle:
- Report the incident to police immediately
- Contact your bank and shut off any stolen credit/debit cards
- Place a fraud alert on the accounts through your bank
- Monitor the card statements for any fraudulent transactions made immediately following the theft and report those to the police upon discovery
- Monitor your credit report for at least 6 months to detect any fraudulent credit account activity (new accounts, etc...); contact police upon discovery.
- Set up alerts through your bank that immediately notify you when threshold transactions are made (i.e. receive an email anytime a purchase for more than $100.00 is made using your card).
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