Felony Lane Gang targeting women in the Pittsburgh area

PITTSBURGH — A group of criminals are targeting women in our area and across the country, in order to steal purses and money.

Financial institutions have dubbed them the "Felony Lane Gang."

The criminals take bank cards and IDs, dress up like the person they've stolen from and use the lane farthest away from the teller's window to steal money.

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Police say they've struck in more than 30 states. They work in groups and often recruit women to impersonate a victim by wearing disguises.

The gang is so widespread across the country, a group of moms have now formed their own task force on social media to get the word out. They post photos of suspects smashing and grabbing from state to state.

In 2016, the FBI said the Felony Lane Gang was responsible for smash and grabs, and identity fraud in more than 34 states. The agency's best advice for anyone going to the gym early in the morning is to not have any personal belongings visible in their car.

Police were able to identify one of the suspects, Emily Helmer from Florida, who is also wanted in Philadelphia by three different police departments.

Bethel Park police said Helmer couldn't help them identify any of her accomplices, claiming she only knows the men by their nicknames.