JEFFERSON PARISH, LOUISIANA (CBSDFW.COM) – Three alleged members of a multi-state burglary and fraud ring arrested in Jefferson Parish have been linked to break-ins on the Northshore, Louisiana State Police say.
Tuesday, a Louisiana State Police trooper stopped a vehicle on I-10 near Veteran’s Boulevard for a seat belt violation. During the search of the vehicle, troopers found 11 driver’s licenses from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Colorado and Illinois. Detectives linked some of the stolen licenses to recent thefts in St. Tammany Parish.
Troopers also found 22 credit cards, five checkbooks, three Social Security cards, nearly $12,500 in cash and 40 grams of marijuana hidden in the car.
As troopers continued the search, they found 14 various styles of women’s wigs and three “rescue punchers” used to punch out vehicle windows.
Investigators believe the three people in the car are members of the “Felony Lane Gang,” a multi-state group of criminals from South Florida that break into parked cars. Police say the gang watches victims and uses “smash and grab” tactics to steal from cars parked at health clubs, parks and daycare centers. Women in the gang then disguise themselves as the victims, go to banks and try to cash stolen checks.
Troopers arrested the three passengers:
39-year-old Vanessa Fisher of Boerne, Texas
24-year-old David Heller Jr. of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
25-year-old Latoj Banks of West Palm Beach, Florida
State Police say the three individuals were booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on charges of no seat belt, possession of marijuana, conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Police are working with other local and state law enforcement agencies to possibly link the alleged gang members to other theft and fraud cases. Additional charges are pending.