STL County PD warns residents of 'sophisticated' identity theft network

The St. Louis County police department is warning people about an out-of-state identity theft group that's making its rounds in the community.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY - St. Louis County police is warning resident about an out-of-state identity theft network that is making its rounds in the community.

The "Felony Lane Gang" has been connected to four break-ins in St. Louis county—two in Queeny Park—since May. Police say after stealing items such as checkbooks and personal identification, the thieves immediately go to the bank…all in an attempt to rip you off.

"These guys go on massive spending sprees in the matter of minutes," said Officer Benjamin Granda of the St. Louis County Police Department.

The reason police call the thieves the "Felony Lane Gang" is because they go to the drive-thru lane that’s farthest away from the bank teller.

"When they're presenting themselves as someone they're not, it makes that easier for them to do," said Officer Granda

The thieves will likely target places where people are more likely to leave behind valuables like in a parking lot at a trail or gym.

"Please do not become complacent regardless of the neighborhood you're in or the nice park that you're at because these are the specific locations that these suspects target," Officer Granda said.

Michael Frodyma's was at Queeny Park on Friday afternoon hanging out with friends. His windows were down and his was roof open. Those conditions would make his car a prime target for a thief. He had no idea about the thefts that have been happening in the area.

"It's a little alarming but living downtown and having a jeep that has no roof and windows that zip off, I'm use to not leaving anything in my car," he said.

Kimberly Allen is determined not to be a target.

"I have my radio. I have my phone. I have my wallet. So, I basically take everything out my car,” she said.

These thieves don't necessarily want material things. They're more interested in your identity.  To avoid becoming a victim, Officer Granda says make sure your doors are locked, windows rolled up, and valuables hidden from plain sight.

St. Louis County police tell Five On Your Side the department has caught some of these individuals in the past, but admits it is always hard to do.

The string of thefts is under investigation.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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