'Smash-Grabbers' Targeting Naperville Women

Florida gang could be behind the robberies, police say

By Kim Vatis and Alise Blunk
|  Friday, Sep 23, 2011  |  Updated 3:04 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Mugs in the News

Getty Images

Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Naperville police are investigating a series of smash-and-grab burglaries that appear to be targeting women in the suburban city.

Sgt. John Westlove says there have been 60 Naperville cases of burglars breaking into vehicles and grabbing valuable items, including six in the past week.

Police have dubbed the suspects the "Felony Lane Gang."

"They target women," Westlove said. "They watch women getting out of their cars," says Westlove and see if they are leaving their purses behind."

Many of the incidents have happened in broad daylight. The suspects have also been taking bank information and IDs, and have made off with a total of $100,000 so far.

Police say the The suspects typically target locations where women are most likely to leave their purses or wallets in vehicles, such as fitness facilities, parks and day care centers.

"It's scary," says Naperville nanny Vanessa Valec who often leaves here purse behind when running into a day care center. "Not anymore."

Police say most the suspects are both male and female.

Investigators say the suspects are coming here using rental vehicles from Florida where they are recruited.

"The message is not to leave anything in your vehicle," Westlove says.

The Naperville Police Department are actively working with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to gather more information about the Felony Lane Gang.

Those who have witnessed a break-in or believe they have information about any of the crimes are asked to call Park District police at 630-848-5050.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC 5... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out