Florida gang targeting women in the Houston area

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by Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 6:41 PM

HOUSTON -- The district attorney's office is warning everyone about the Felony Lane gang -- a group of men and women who are stealing purses from women when they are most vulnerable.

The thieves are getting away with between $10,000 and $20,000 a week. The victims are primarily women. An 80-year-old woman we spoke to said she was a victim.

"I didn't have any idea anyone would break into the cemetery," said Betty Davis. “No Idea.”

Davis and her companion, 86-year-old Raymond Castillo, were visiting their loved ones at the Brookside Cemetery.

"We were out stuffing these flower things in the pot. We saw a red car pass by and didn't think anything of it," said Castillo.

When they were walking back to their car they noticed trouble. Their car door was left open.

"We thought the door was open. They just went in on that side. My purse was sitting right here. They just reached in and got the purse" said Davis.

Everything was gone. The crooks tried to write checks worth $12,000.

Investigators said the checks were written to victims who also had their identities stolen. The suspects used those identifications to cash them.

Precinct 5 constables said the gang members are from Florida. They believe they have been working the Houston area for a while now. Five suspected gang members were arrested here in January 2013. But investigators said there are hundreds of them. They are once again targeting women at day cares, parks, cemeteries and all over Harris County.

Harris County Constable Precinct 5 Assistant Chief J.J. Lane released the following statement:

"We are working with the Houston Police Department Auto Theft Division and the District Attorney’s Office of Special Crimes, and have been very successful in apprehending these most despicable members of the Felony Lane gang. We will continue to pursue these members with our partners using any resource we have. There are just some crimes that we, and the public, will not tolerate. We will continue to aggressively pursue any member if this gang until they crawl back under whatever rock they came from. Until then we are actively looking."

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