MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Police think a sophisticated gang of car burglars has set up shop in McKinney and is scoping out busy mothers.

The burglars sit near daycare centers and outside parks. The thieves watch for busy mothers who may be shuttling kids inside or onto the playground — but leaving their purse in the vehicle.

McKinney police Deputy Chief Scott Brewer said the scene has played out over and over again.

“For our city alone the punitive loss exceeds that of $100,000, so let’s just don’t focus on the amount of offenses but the reality is this is hitting our citizenry and our economy very, very hard,” he explained.

Police say in most cases it doesn’t even matter if the woman tries to lock up or hide her purse in the vehicle.

“Typically a citizen will get out, they may secure their purse in their trunk area, or try to conceal it within their car,” said Brewer. “Well, these folks are actually watching for that and they’ll bust in the glass or they’ll bust out the driver’s side window and they’ll pop the trunk and they’ll still take the purse.”

After the theft the crooks quickly get busy cashing checks and using credit cards.

Brewer offered some advice for anyone with a purse or wallet. “For these sets of circumstances, it’s really best just to take that property with you so it’s in your own possession,” he said.

The Felony Lane Gang, out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is believed to be the group behind the theft ring.