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Police warn of possible 'gang-related' crimes in Maine

WCSH-TV Portland, ME 1/17/2023 Alex Haskell (NCM)

Several police departments in Maine are warning people about crimes committed in communities across the state that are possibly tied to an out-of-state gang.

Police call them the “Felony Lane Gang”, and say they're known for breaking into vehicles up and down the East Coast. 

Two weeks ago, the Bath Police Department posted on Facebook about crimes that may be related to the Felony Lane Gang.

"...Some locations throughout our local area were targeted by thieves," the post read. "These areas included gyms like the YMCA and places where it is likely people left valuables such as purses in their cars while they visit the facility."

The post went on to say, these sorts of crimes are normally carried out by groups that refer to themselves as the Felony Lang Gang. 

Bath is not alone. Kennebunk is another town warning people about similar behavior. 

"...Kennebunk, and other surrounding communities, received reports of motor vehicle burglaries where the suspects targeted women’s purses left behind in parked vehicles in public spaces," a post on the Kennebunk Police Department Facebook page said last week. "This type of criminal behavior is often referred to as “Felony Lane Gang” activity."

York is another community where these crimes are happening. The York Police Department said the types of crimes being committed are consistent with those of the gang.

"They look through parked motor vehicles when people aren't around," Sgt. Jonathan Rodgers of the York Police Department told NEWS CENTER Maine. "They're typically trying to find purses, checkbooks, IDs. If they see that stuff they'll break a window and grab them." 

Sgt. Rodgers said members of the gang will often target gyms and take personal belongings out of bags. 

“Sometimes it’s simple as stealing a single license plate off of a car," Rodgers added. "What we see them do is use rental vehicles, and then, cover up the plate with a stolen license plate, and they’ll use stolen IDs, come up with a disguise that matches the person on the ID, go through bank teller drive-thru lines, and then cash fraudulent checks through those lines."

Police say the best way to protect yourself is to not leave purses and other valuables visible in your car, always remember to lock your car doors, and also lock up belongings at any public place like a gym.

A community organization on Facebook called the Felony Lane Gang Task Force describes itself as "a task force…focused on closing down Felony Lane Gang."

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