TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A master of disguise is targeting moms and women in New Jersey.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, the search is on for the wig-wearing woman who has been on a robbery spree. Investigators said she has stolen purses, credit cards, and cash out of parked cars – and may be part of an organized gang.
Oftentimes, moms will leave their purse in the car to run out and watch their kids soccer game or run into a store quickly. The Felony Lane gang is taking advantage of that, and checking to see what is in your front seat.
Toms River police were canvassing local parks and shopping centers Thursday, sending a signal to the countrywide gang.
“They would target either sports complexes, shopping centers. They would check vehicles – if they see a purse or a pocketbook in there, they would smash the glass,” said Detective Mark Bajaba.
A smash and grab was reported on the Riverwood Park Recreation Center on Tuesday, and police said the wig-wearing woman is in on the scheme. She has been caught on camera three or four times committing bank fraud.
“Take specific identification such as driver’s licenses; anything they can use that they can to go to the bank and negotiate any type of funds such as the check – mostly specifically checks,” Bajaba said.
CBS2 covered a similar incident last January. Police said the same gang targeted parents on a busy morning dropping their kids off at Goddard Daycare in Brick.
“Wednesday morning, two subjects were observed driving through parking lot and shortly thereafter, it was determined that one of the vehicles had its window smashed and another vehicle was accessed,” Brick police Sgt. Neal Pedersen said on Jan. 13, 2017.
Investigators are coordinating efforts after Toms River sent out an alert with the suspect’s photo. Howell Township police noticed a resemblance at the Manasquan Bank in town – same face, different wig.
There were similar crimes in Wall Township, Hammonton, Mays Landing, and Little Egg Harbor.
The Felony Lane gang was named by banks.
“Because the outermost lane in the drive-through is considered the felony lane – because it’s hard to make identifications from such distance,” said Toms River police Capt. Michael Belcher.
Police are looking for help identifying the blonde or brunette suspected fraudster in the New Jersey cases.
Police said the Felony Lane gang has been in and out of the Toms River area for more than five years and is extremely mobile. They travel from town to town – always on the go – and then they circle back.
The best way to protect yourself is to take your purse with you, or carry your wallet in your pocket.