Webster police arrested two men who are suspected of being members of the so-called "Felony Lane" gang. Officials with the FBI office in Dallas said members of this group are primarily based in Florida and have been linked to car burglaries in Texas and five other states.
Police said the gang targets women who leave their purses, checkbooks and wallets in their cars while at gyms, day cares and public parks. Police said the gang got its nick-name because members always use the outside lane of a bank drive-through when trying to cash stolen checks or use stolen bank cards with stolen IDs. The outside lane makes it difficult for bank tellers to see whether the person in the car matches the picture on the identification being presented to the bank.
Police in Webster said they got word about six months ago that members of this gang were at work in the Houston area.
"They've been hitting our day cares, our fitness centers in Pearland, their YMCAs, Montgomery County YMCAs," said Webster police detective James Latham. "They've been all around this area for quite some time."
Latham said last week a woman in Friendswood jotted down the license plate of a rental car she noticed cruising through day care parking lots. Latham said the woman then notified Friendswood police because she felt the men in the car were acting suspiciously.
After Friendswood police put out an alert to all surrounding police agencies, Latham said an undercover detective conducted surveillance in a parking off the Gulf Freeway near Nasa Road One. Latham said this parking lot is known for car burglaries. Latham said while the officer was watching the parking lot he spotted the same car the woman in Friendswood described. Latham said the officer then saw the two men in that car break into a woman's car. Both were quickly arrested.
"We found numerous credit cards, checks, social security numbers," said Latham.
"From multiple victims?" asked Local 2's Robert Arnold.
"That's correct, from about 7 different victims," said Latham.
Latham said Worky Johnson and Claude Eugene were both charged with felonies. Latham said when Johnson was arrested he was out of jail on bond. Latham said Johnson was one of 16 people arrested in July during a joint operation by the Plano Police Department and the FBI to crackdown on members of this gang.
Both Plano police and the FBI said the investigation into the "Felony Lane" gang is on-going.