COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - Covington Police are issuing a warning to residents, following a rash of car break-ins over the past month. These "smash and grab" style burglaries. happened in the downtown area, where the suspect or suspects smashed windows on cars and grabs any valuables inside. Police Chief Lentz says several occurred in the Bogue Falaya Park area, where purses and other valuables were left in plain sight.
Lentz says these burglaries follow the pattern of the "Felony Lane Gang", a term dubbed by law enforcement to describe the patterns in which these
criminals operate. The perpetrators of these crimes often target parks,recreational facilities, gyms and other places where, primarily women, will
leave their purses inside the vehicle. The perpetrators will often use rental cars to commit the crimes and have been known to wear disguises to
mask their identity. While not an actual gang, Covington Police say the name stems from how these criminals operate. After committing the burglaries, they will use what has been coined by law enforcement as the "felony lane", the farthest lane at a bank from the teller, making it harder to identify them, where they will cash stolen checks, using the victim's identification card.
Chief Lentz is reminding the public of some easy ways to help avoid becoming a victim. One of the most effective means of making yourself less of a target is to keep valuables out of plain sight within your vehicle. He says car burglaries are often crimes of opportunity. By removing valuables, such as purses, wallets and identification cards from your vehicle, you become less of a target and thieves are more likely to move on to easier victims. If for some reason you must leave valuables inside your vehicle, it's advised you lock them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight..
Several of the victims' stolen checks and personal identification have used at banks across the Southern Louisiana region. Investigators have
obtained photographs from one of the banks of an unidentified white female, driving a gray Chevrolet Equinox. This unidentified female is
believed to be directly involved with the recent burglaries in Covington.