A law-enforcement task force is deploying analytics software to counter a criminal group, dubbed the Felony Lane Gang, operating in at least 34 states across the United States.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office, New Zealand-based Wynyard Group, and CI Technologies announced the task force of 92 agencies. The FBI and financial institutions will use Wynyard Advanced Crime Analytics and CrimeNtel from CI Technologies to fight the gang.
The Felony Lane Gang mainly steals women's purses, checkbooks, and identity cards, and then forges checks on the victims' accounts.
"Law enforcement continually has been hampered by the fact that gang members recruit local females to cash the checks," said Wynyard Group chief executive Craig Richardson. "While the women impersonating victims are often caught, the men who are the key gang members have been difficult to track and identify."
Key gang members travel across the country, do not live in the areas where crimes are committed, and are unconnected to their mainly female recruits, Richardson said. That means they are not known to local agencies.
The software will strengthen investigations into the group of over 100 thieves that has been operating for more than five years and stolen tens of millions of dollars. Investigators will be able to build a more comprehensive picture of persons of interest, reveal actionable intelligence, dynamically assess risk, and respond promptly.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office in Indiana is responsible for collecting and analyzing intelligence data for the investigation.
The gang acquired its name by using the furthest lane from video cameras and tellers of drive-through bank branches to cash stolen checks of up to $2,000. The thieves often use wigs to look more like their victims.