Officials in central Florida have reported a surge in “smash and grab” break-ins in places you might not expect: state parks, ball fields, community centers, churches, gyms and day-care centers.
The crimes appear to be connected to the South Florida-based “Felony Lane” organized-crime ring, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Hidden behind the dark tinted windows of rental cars, these gangs of burglars roam Florida highways — hopping off the interstates to case parking lots where they can steal purses and wallets containing credit and debit cards, identification cards and checkbooks. Once they’ve got the goods, the burglars head to the nearest bank, using disguises to cash checks or withdraw funds from banks with drive-through tellers. The crooks choose the lane farthest from the teller window — known as “Felony Lane,” said Susie Murphy, a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Orlando.