Florida gang accused of stealing purses, credit cards from women in Wayne, Oakland counties

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Posted at 1:46 PM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 13:46:28-04

(WXYZ) — A Florida gang allegedly ran a multi-state crime spree involving victims from Michigan, specifically Oakland and Wayne County.

The gang, referred to as the Felony Lane Gang, originated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, consisting of Makeia Steward, Anthony Horne, Jamar Dukes and Anita Becerra, according to a criminal complaint. Federal officials say its members travel around the country to conduct "numerous thefts from vehicles, home invasions, identity thefts and bank frauds."

Officials say an FLG cell typically consists of several male members and at least one female member, who is reportedly recruited to impersonate victims and cash fraudulent checks. From state to states, allegedly, cells commit thefts from vehicles, targeting unattended purses. ]

They also reportedly use rental vehicles and stay at local hotels. Federal officials say they steal license plates to affix to their rental cars as they drive to the bank.

Between November 2017 and June 2018, at least seven people in Michigan and Ohio were the victims of larcenies from their cars. Their checks, driver's licenses and and credit cards were used in bank frauds, officials say.

According to a criminal complaint, Michigan residents in Southgate, Livonia, Birmingham and Bloomfield Township were targeted.

On November 7, 2017, victim R.A. had her purse stolen from her vehicle at Sumac Pointe Park in Livonia. The purse contained her license, credit cards and her checkbook. Her credit cards were later used at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Dollar General and Target. On November 9, victim K.B. had her purse, which contained her driver's license, social security card and credit cards, stolen from her vehicle at a Planet Fitness and Southgate.

On November 27, 2017, victim M.L. had her purse stolen in Birmingham, which contained her license, social security card, cash, credit cards and her Chase Bank checkbook with 30 unused checks. On June 5, 2018, victim S.M. had her purse stolen from her car at Karma Yoga in Bloomfield Township, Her purse contained credit cards, which were used in an attempt to buy two Visa gift cards at a nearby Kroger. There was also an attempt to use a card at a Valero gas station in Canton.

In July 2018, a series of bank frauds occurred involving the checks drawn on the victims' bank accounts. A female suspect was arrested after one occasion where she allegedly posed as a victim and attempted to negotiate a check in Eastpointe. The teller became suspicious and the suspect left the bank without completing the transaction and left the license behind.

On July 18, a detective in Toledo observed a vehicle that matched a description of the suspect vehicle in the bank frauds. When police approached the vehicle, two suspects were identified as Christina Smith and Jamar Dukes.

On October 27, 2018, Anita Becerra was arrested for shoplifting and was reportedly in possession of a Target card belong to one of the victims. She later told police she was a passenger in Horne's vehicle and he allegedly broke out car windows and took purses, and was paid by Horne and Steward to cash forged checks.

Read the full criminal complaint below:

Florida Crime Spree by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd