ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) - Two alleged members of a Florida gang were arrested Monday in Rockford and have been linked to more than a dozen area vehicle break-ins.
Travis Brown, 31, of Lauderhill, Fla. and Melissa Duncan, 34, of Apopka, Fla. were arrested after allegedly attempting to cash a forged check at the Choice One Bank on Courtland Drive NE in Rockford.
Brown and Duncan are known associates of the Felony Lane Gang based in Fort Lauderdale, according to the Rockford Department of Public Safety.
That gang is known for breaking into unattended cars at parks around the country to steal purses. The thieves use checks and identification from the stolen purses to cash phony checks, typically at drive-up lanes of banks. They wear disguises to better match the IDs.
Rockford DPS says it had been investigating the Aug. 12 break-ins of three cars. A check linked to one of those break-ins was passed at the Choice One, which led to the arrests.
After Brown and Duncan were arrested, police say, investigators found checks, credit cards and ID for 13 other area residents whose vehicles were broke into.
Brown and Duncan were lodged in the Kent County jail pending preliminary hearings.
Brown is also wanted in Broward County, Fla. on a felony probation violation warrant. It's not yet known if or when he will be extradited back to Florida to face charges there.
Anyone with information about the thefts or the Felony Lane Gage is asked to call the Kent County Metropolitan Fraud and Identity Theft Team, which has taken over the investigation.
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