3 suspected as members of Felony Lane Gang
Three Florida men arrested for breaking into cars at the Darien YMCA last week are believed to be part of a nationwide gang active up and down New England that is responsible for more than 700 car burglaries, Darien detectives said this week.
The three men were nabbed Sept. 10 heading south on Interstate 95 after police caught several breaks to link them to three smash-and-grab type break-ins of cars at the Darien YMCA, 2420 Post Road, committed Sept. 9, Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron said.
A separate pair of car break-ins at Cherry Lawn Park Monday evening that week is also likely the work of the men or other members of the so-called “Felony Lane Gang,” Marron said.
Police in Darien and West Haven spent more than two days shadowing suspects in that city after the Darien suspects were linked to a second group of men arrested late last week in West Haven for similar break-ins, Marron said.
Darien, West Haven, Greenwich, Stamford, and Trumbull police are also investigating whether the 10-year-old “Felony Lane Gang” is responsible for similar car break-ins in their areas.
“Felony Lane,” is slang among criminals for the outside lane of a bank’s automatic teller station which is often used to commit fraud using victim’s checks or credit cards, according to police.
Darien and West Haven officers set up surveillance at several locations after a series of breaks, including the recovery of a purse stolen in a Darien burglary was found behind a West Haven business and another stolen iPhone was activated in West Haven, Marron said.
Police were able to recover an iPhone 6 stolen in the Darien YMCA burglary when someone picked it up in the lot of the Hampton Inn in West Haven and turned it on.
Police were also given an assist by Greenwich police in identifying a license plate number of a white Explorer in the YMCA break-ins.
The first of two separate instances of multiple car break-ins occurred at Cherry Lawn Park on the night of Monday Sept. 7, according to police.
Police responded to a report of a car break-in at 5:30 p.m. that Monday, Marron said. Thieves broke the passenger side window of a Stamford woman’s 2003 Honda Pilot and stole two purses, a Longchamp purse containing $300 belonging to the mother along with her daughter’s purse, according to police.
Responding police also found thieves had broken into a second car, a 2008 Mercedes belonging to a 41-year-old Darien resident stealing a Michael Kors purse with $100 in cash, a check book, several gift cards and other property.
The YMCA burglaries were reported around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Marron said.
Police responded to a report of a car break-in from a 59-year-old Darien woman who returned to her car to find the passenger window smashed and her purse stolen containing her iPhone 6 and orange leather purse containing several credit cards.
Windows were also broken and purses and other valuables taken from a 2014 Honda Odyssey owned by a Darien resident and a 2011 Toyota Highlander owned by a Norwalk woman.
Surveillance video showed two suspects arrive in white Ford Explorer and proceed methodically to move through each row of cars.
“They literally looked into every car and nobody noticed,” Marron said. “They spent a good 15 minutes or half an hour in the parking lot. It is amazing to watch the video.”
Greenwich police suggested Darien run the stolen plate against a set stolen in Stamford and they established a match, Marron said.
The three men arrested were Oliver Chance, 24, of 2815 NW 8 Court, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Kenton Chance, 21, of 3681 SW 12 Place, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Jerevonte Bray, 18, of 451 NW 23rd Ave., Apt. 1, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
All three men were charged with three counts each of third-degree burglary and three counts of credit card theft; two counts each of sixth-degree larceny by possession; and single counts of conspiracy to third-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, and fourth-degree larceny.
They were all held on $100,000 bond each and appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford on Monday, Sept. 14, according to Marron.
Police in Darien are also trying to link the men to the burglaries at Cherry Lawn Park by going through recovered property taken from suspects arrested there, Marron said.
The Felony Lane Gang is believed to be responsible for hundreds of millions in property stolen and bank fraud in more than 40 states, Marron said.