An organized car burglary crew known as the “Felony Lane Gang” has been swiping credit cards, checkbooks and other personal identification from unlocked cars at Bergen County-area gyms, day care centers, YMCAs and county parks – and then pulling money from victims’ accounts, authorities warned Friday.
And it usually takes them less than 30 seconds.
Victims have reported car burglaries at:
- Finch Park in Ramsey;
- Park Ridge Tennis Academy;
- Superdome Sports in Waldwick;
- New York Sports Club in Mahwah;
- The Gym in Saddle River;
- Lakeside Fitness in Oakland;
- Saddle Brook County Park;
- Ridgewood Duck Pond;
- Club Metro USA in Rutherford;
- Riverside County Park, Lyndhurst/North Arlington
“Their purpose is to break into unattended vehicles and steal identification and financial documents…whether in bags, purses, or wallets or otherwise stored in the vehicles,” Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said.
“They then immediately attempt to use the stolen information to attempt to withdraw money from their victims’ bank accounts, or to incur unauthorized charges on their victims’ credit cards, using their stolen identification cards to facilitate their activities,” he said.
“Local police departments are aware of the crime pattern and are actively investigating this crime pattern,” the prosecutor said, adding that his Intelligence & Counterterrorism Unit was on the case, as well. “You can protect your valuables and assist law enforcement by following a few tips outlined below.”
1. Do not leave your purse or other valuable property (cell phones, tablets, laptops, cash, or jewelry) visible in your car, at any time. We encourage you to take your valuables with you, or if you must, lock them in your glove box (out of plain view). Please also close your car windows and lock your doors.
2. Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious vehicles or people at these locations. If you see something that looks out of the ordinary, say something by calling your local police department.
DO NOT APPROACH SUSPICOUS VEHICLES OR PERSONS ON YOUR OWN. CALL THE POLICE.
To find out more about the Felony Lane Gang, contact your local police department, or visit the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/BCPONJ or on Twitter @BCPONJ