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Getting Your Gear Stolen is No Adventure

'Smash and grab' gang might be operating here

More car burglaries reported

Jeff Bonty | [email protected] | 815-937-3366 Mar 7, 2018

KANKAKEE — Kankakee police received reports from two women who had their purses stolen from their vehicles on Monday.

The reports came one day after a women's purse left in a locked, unattended vehicle was taken when a window was smashed in the parking lot of the Greater Kankakee YMCA.

Lt. Donnell Austin said they could not confirm if Monday's two incidents were related to Sunday's.

Since Jan. 1, there have been 12 burglary to vehicles reported, Austin said. Some of the vehicles were left unlocked and others were smash and grabs.

One of Monday's victims was walking her dogs at Gar Creek Trail on River Road in the morning. When she came back to her vehicle, she found a window smashed and her pursue missing.

About eight hours later, a woman told police her purse and other items went missing from her vehicle in the parking lot of the Kankakee Public Library on East Merchant Street.

She left the car unattended for an hour. She said she locked the front driver door but was not sure if the back doors were locked. Investigators believe Sunday's smash and grab is related to a nationwide group known as the Felony Lane Gang. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., members appear to target vehicles where a woman's purse is left unattended. They take checkbooks and debit cards.

The personal information on the checks in one theft are used on another victim's checking account to secure funds.

The debit cards are used to buy numerous gift cards at places such as Walgreens and Walmart, according to police. Authorities dubbed the group Felony Lane Gang because they tend to use the furthest lane from the teller in a drive through. Bourbonnais police investigated a similar burglary in late December 2017.