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Marion County takes lead on fighting ‘Felony Lane Gang’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Local law enforcement is ramping up its efforts to catch thieves who break into cars and use your personal effects to drain your wallet.

There’s been a string of car break-ins nationwide, including some in Indiana committed by a loose organization of criminals called the Felony Lane Gang.

“It’s kind of a loose-knit group of people that coerce folks that are most vulnerable such as prostitutes, homeless folks to break into cars,” Craig Blanton, with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said.

The Marion County Sheriff’s office leads a working group of more than 100 law enforcement agencies nationwide, looking to stem the tide of these thefts. Connected thefts have been reported in about 35 states.

The name stems from the suspects’ use of the lane farthest from video surveillance to attempt to cash phony checks or withdraw money from a stolen debit or credit card.

After the theft, the suspect will use those people to cash a phony check or use a stolen credit card, even using disguises to look like the victims.

“They’ll come in and hit for a couple of weeks and then move on once law enforcement is aware of their activities,” Blanton said.

The work being done by law enforcement agencies involves compiling data on the thieves, to figure out where they’re going before they strike.

“We can track these people [with] mapping capabilities, hopefully to alert other agencies that this particular group may be entering their jurisdiction,” Blanton said.

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