Exclusive: Multi-State Ring of Identity Thieves Prowl in Upstate - WSPA.com

Exclusive: Multi-State Ring of Identity Thieves Prowl in Upstate Parking Lots

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Cops say these criminals swipe your wallet, then recruit others to help steal your hard-earned cash. Cops say these criminals swipe your wallet, then recruit others to help steal your hard-earned cash.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

Cops say these criminals swipe your wallet, then recruit others to help steal your hard-earned cash.

It's a crime trend that's now hitting the Upstate.

7 On Your Side has been digging for answers for weeks.

Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jonathan Smith said members of the so-called “Felony Lane Gang” scope out cars with wallets or purses sitting out and bust in a window.

One Upstate woman learned the hard way her purse isn't safe in her car, even in a church parking lot. She’s asked 7 On Your Side not to use her name because she fears being further victimized.

"They stole our checkbook, they stole our debit cards, my driver’s license, my social security card, just everything -- my whole identity," she said.

Greenville County deputies say criminals hit five spots that day.

Investigators said those crimes are connected to a multi-state ring of identity thieves dubbed by law enforcement as the Felony Lane Gang.

"This group comes through, they'll spend two or three weeks in an area and then they'll disappear. They'll hit the next state," said Smith.

Here's how they operate: They steal from your car and then recruit someone else in another state or county, often homeless people or prostitutes, to do the dirty work for a cut of the cash.

The recruit makes a big withdrawal and then meets up with the original thief.

If the recruit gets caught, the person who recruited them loses nothing.

Deputies say four people are facing multiple charges in this string of crimes in Greenville County: Jennifer Marie Powell, Jasper Williams, Tyrod Lavel Turner and Quincey Deshane Sapp.

“The ones that we feel that we've identified to make the charges on are just recruits," said Smith.

That makes it hard for local law enforcement to track down everyone involved.

“It's very, very upsetting. It's been hard to go through the process. And I want them, you know, prosecuted to the fullest,” said one of the victims.

The Felony Lane Gang is based in Florida, but their crimes have been documented across the country. Just this June, they hit the Columbia area. Their crimes have also been reported in Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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