The Felony Lane Gang is accused of smash and grabs in Brandon and Tampa

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla - Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies are warning women that a group of highly-organized thieves, known as the Felony Lane Gang, are after purses in the Tampa Bay area.

The group originated out of Broward County and earned their name because they use the farthest lane at drive-thru banks to avoid detection by tellers and security cameras.

Grandmother Darlene Seusfzer of Thonotosassa is among the group's most recent victims.

Seusfzer told ABC Action News she went to watch her granddaughter at cheer practice in Brandon on Wednesday when the crime occurred.

She explained how she parked  off Corner Drive, a spot that is shared with a day care facility, and quickly cleaned up her car's interior before heading inside to the practice.

"While I was cleaning out my car that person was probably parked somewhere in the vicinity watching all of us moms in the parking lot," said Seusfzer.

Seusfzer left her new purse in the car, figuring it was safe because she locked the doors.

She was wrong.

When she returned to her car, she found its glass broken and her purse gone.

"They break into a car, take the purses, immediately take them to the bank and have someone else usually write out a fraudulent check and cash it using the person's identification," said Cpl. Samuel Bailey with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said it is hard to catch members of the group because they are highly organized, use rental cars, rarely leave fingerprints and hire prostitutes and homeless people to go to the bank drive-thru with them.

"They possibly [wear] a wig or something like that to make their identity look like the person they stole the purse from," Bailey said.

In some cases, the thieves have made off with a couple thousand dollars.

However, Seusfzer's money was not taken because she immediately called her bank and canceled her credit cards and checks.

The thieves did get away with her license and concealed weapons permit.

"It's sad because you are brought up not to be suspicious of people," Seusfzer said.

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