November 22, 2017 06:24 PM
ROCHESTER—They steal your checkbook and identification then have a prostitute go to the bank, disguised as you to get your cash! Investigators believe a group known as the “Felony Lane Gang” which moves up and down the east coast is currently hitting the Rochester area. The thieves have recently smashed in car windows in Monroe, Livingston and Ontario counties to steal purses and pull off the scheme.
The criminals normally drive rental cars and look for crowded parking lots; they hit multiple cars at the same time. Recently, Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies say they smashed out windows at the Penfield Fitness Center along Panorama Trail and then hit five separate vehicles at the Webster Montessori School along Five Mile Line Road. In each case, the thieves stole purses that were inside locked cars.
Investigators say once they’ve got your checkbook and ID, they forge a check and then recruit prostitutes to pose as you to go to the bank to try and cash it, “they've got wigs that they use, dress differently, anything they can do to make themselves look more along the lines of the identity that they're using,” says Sgt. John Watson of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
The prostitutes are instructed to use a very specific lane at the bank when trying to rip you off, “the reason they are named the “Felony Lane Gang” is because they'll go to the furthest teller line at the bank which they have deemed the felony lane because it's an easy access point that they can quickly get out of and it's kind of hard to see the person through the teller window so they (the teller) may be less inclined to ask for more forms of identification,” Sgt. Watson says.
Victims have lost thousands of dollars and the thieves get in and out of town quickly. Identifying the women is difficult because they’re disguised and the cars are rentals that they trade in quickly.
The best advice to avoid becoming a victim? Take your purse with you wherever you go or lock it in the trunk.
Updated: November 22, 2017 06:24 PM
Created: November 22, 2017 06:23 PM
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