ROCKFORD, Mich.- Alleged members of a national organized crime group were arrested in West Michigan.
They’re known as the “Felony Lane Gang” targeting purses and handbags left in cars.
Rockford police say they struck August 12 at Ada Township Park. Monday, when the suspected thieves, Melissa Duncan and Travis Brown, tried cashing a forged check at Choice One Bank, they were arrested after a short chase.
That’s when police identified the 13 other people in the area who have been targeted.
Emily Taphouse of Grand Rapids was at a family reunion at Ada Township Park when the car her purse was in was broken into.
“Everything is taken out, purses, work ID’s, checkbooks, anything you’d be nervous about losing,” Taphouse said.
When she called police they said there had been break-ins at that park and surrounding ones throughout the past few weeks.
It wasn’t until police called her on Monday did Taphouse realize who had stolen her purse or the ring police say they’re a part of.
Police say Duncan and Brown are known associates of the ‘Felony Lane Gang’ based in Fort Lauderdale, notorious throughout the country.
Police say gang members target recreational facilities around the country smashing car windows and taking off with purses, handbags and wallets.
Taphouse says the break in covered her 1-year-old daughters car seat with glass.
The name “Felony Lane Gang” comes from their method of using the far drive thought lane at the bank. Police say they attempt to cash one the stolen checks using the stolen ID and dressing up to match it’s appearance..
“They even had disguises,” Taphouse said. “My Aunt Vicki was also a victim; the one woman who had gone in and tried to do the same thing had been wearing a long dark wig.”
This isn’t the first time people associated with the “Felony Lane Gang” have been caught. 16 suspected gang members were arrested in Texas late last month.
“You think you’d feel safe at Ada Township Park,” Taphouse said. “It’s kind of unnerving, it’s very violating, you don`t really feel safe leaving your stuff anywhere.”
If you think you may have been targeted by the “Felony Lane Gang” give the Rockford Police Department a call at (616) 866-9557.