A car’s front passenger window was smashed and a laptop and pocketbook was stolen from the floor in front of the passenger seat last Wednesday evening, Feb. 8 in the parking lot of a business on Old Kings Highway North, police said.
The car was parked while the owner, a 45-year-old Norwalk woman, was at the Old Kings Highway Tennis Club at 98 Old Kings Hwy. N. The woman arrived at 7:15 p.m. and discovered the theft and damaged car at 9:15 p.m.
There was no sign of a rock or anything else near the car that might have been used to smash the side window of the 2009 Lexus LS 250. That and the fact that the car was parked outside a recreational business is making police wonder whether the theft could have been perpetrated by the Felony Lane Gang, which targets parking lots connected to parks and fitness clubs.
— Motor vehicle accidents in Darien last week: Police said there were 13 accidents from Monday, Feb. 6 to Sunday, Feb. 12; in only one were there any injuries, and those were minor.
Members of the gang have smashed windows and stolen from cars parked in Darien before. They use small devices to smash the windows and take the devices with them. In other cases of car thefts involving smashed windows, the rocks used to break the glass are often left behind. On the other hand, the gang doesn’t tend to take laptops.
Police have dubbed the Florida-based group with hundreds of members the “Felony Lane” gang because when they forge checks found in stolen purses, they use the “felony lane” at bank drive-up teller windows — the one farthest from the window — which makes it harder for tellers to ever describe the person who cashed the check.
Police have wondered whether several people arrested in Greenwich last weekend may be members of the Felony Lane Gang. In the incident, several Florida residents in a car were found with checks owned by various people.
In the parking lot where the theft occurred, there were about 25 other vehicles, and none of them had broken windows, police said.
The victim was advised to cancel all of the seven credit, debit and store cards in her purse (she did so by the next day), and she was able to give police the serial number for the stolen Lenovo Thinkpad laptop, which is valued at $1,000. Her laptop case is valued at $50 and the Ralph Lauren purse at $100; a wallet inside the purse was valued at $25, and it held $20 in cash.
Also missing: Oakley sunglasses valued at $170 and prescription eyeglasses valued at $200. Darien police detectives are continuing to investigate the incident.