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Member Of A National Crime Ring Arrested In Austin
Police say a national crime ring is making its way across the country. The so-called "felony lane" group is from Florida but is now targeting people in Cedar Park and Austin.
According to Austin police, the thieves use stolen rental cars to case their unsuspecting victims.
Rebecca Holleman is a serious shopper.
"Two to three times a week," said Holleman.
That's how often you can find Holleman shopping for a bargain.
"I just bought some things and tossed them in the back but I always lock my door," added Holleman.
But locking the door isn't enough to keep a calculated crook from breaking into your car.
"The aim of the group is to conduct quick auto burglaries right after someone gets out of a vehicle and goes in some place," said Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix.
That group is known by police as "felony lane." Mannix is familiar with the Florida crew - and the way they roll.
"They'll use a rental car they didn't rent in their name," said Mannix.
Using victim's stolen information.
"Everything somebody needs to be you," added Mannix.
Mannix believes they use rental cars so cops have a difficult time identifying who the driver is.
Gary Smith doesn't seem phased.
"It's not like I have purse or anything like that," said Smith.
It's not just women's purses they're stealing. Yesterday, Austin police arrested a man - they say - is part of the felony lane group. Inside his Austin-area motel room, cops seized numerous stolen credit cards, driver's licenses, social security cards and check books.
That's enough to shake some sense into savvy shoppers like Holleman.
"If I bought something expensive it goes in the trunk," said Holleman.
The suspect has been identified by Austin police as James Davis of Florida. The rental car he was busted in was also rented in Florida. He's being held on $25,000 bond.