‘I feel violated’: Thieves smash car windows, steal IDs, checkbooks, credit cards, valuables in Adams County

CUMBERLAND TOWNSHIP, ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. -- We now know thieves who smashed car windows and stole credit cards and other items in Adams County may be part of a gang being investigated by the FBI.

The 'Felony Lane Gang', a burglary and identity theft ring, is responsible for other crimes like that across the United States.

A woman parked at Artillery Ridge Campground had hundreds of dollars worth of items stolen; she says she spent hundreds more after that in repairs.

Glass covers the ground where police say crooks smashed the woman's front passenger side window June 25th.

“Whoever has my stuff knows who I am," explained Sam Riggs of Ortana. "They know where I live. The best way I can describe it… I feel violated.”

Sam Rigg’s front side passenger window is fixed now, but there’s other damage to show

“They tried to pry my door open first," explained Riggs.

She describes what happened at Artillery Ridge Campground quite simply as scary.

“I called and cancelled all my credit cards. I called my mom first thing, cause I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do!” explained Riggs.

She says it happened June 25th between 10 and 11 in the morning.

Rigg was leading a horse tour when she noticed glass all over the ground in the campground's front parking lot.

“They got my prescription glasses, a 780 dollar prescription. They got my Apple Watch," she said. "They got my brand new, it was a gift, Michael Kors purse and wallet, all my credit cards, checkbooks, my medical insurance, my ID, like everything."

Something similar happened three times the morning of June 25th that police can say - once at the campground and windows smashed two other times at Gettysburg National Military Park.

"One, two, three multiple individuals came in, saw things in the vehicles, broke windows, and took what they wanted," explained Joe Lachowski, Gettysburg National Military Park's Chief Ranger.

"That’s horrible, like people are here to see the history of our country and people are taking advantage of that," said Sarah Travis, a teacher from Ohio visiting Gettysburg with her family.

Police want to put a name to a face - a woman accused of trying to cash stolen checks after the matter at different banks in the area.

They believe the crimes could be related to the gang.  Authorities say members rent cars with heavily tinted windows, scope out potential victims, before they smash car windows and steal people's IDs, credit cards, and checkbooks.

“I have seen this in other national parks anywhere there is a large concentration of vehicles where people go hiking and leave vehicles unattended for a while," explained Lachowski.

"We’re going to Washington D.C. so now I’ll pay more attention," added Travis.

"I completely gutted my car," explained Riggs. "It’s been a learning lesson for me, 100 percent, an eye opener.”

The  gang is called 'Felony Lane Gang' because they take those stolen credit cards, check books, and IDs and use them to get money out of banks; that's when they use the lane farthest away from the teller which is called the felony lane.

According to the FBI's website: "The majority of these burglaries occur at gyms, fitness centers, daycare facilities, and recreation areas where women would be more likely to leave their purses in their vehicles. FLG members then utilize the stolen checks and IDs to withdraw large sums of money at multiple banks before the victims have the opportunity to close their accounts.

Since the victims are almost always female, FLG subjects have been known to recruit women, often prostitutes and drug users, from outside of the group to impersonate the victims. These women are known to successfully utilize disguises, such as wigs. The subjects will strategically choose the farthest window from the teller, in bank drive-thru lanes, to impersonate the customer while using a stolen ID. This drive-thru lane is commonly known as the "felony lane", thus coining the name of this criminal enterprise."

 

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