The Winslow Police Department is warning area residents of the possible arrival of a Florida-based thieving ring that goes to extreme measures to cash stolen checks.

The group, known as the Felony Lane Gang, will break into cars and steal driver's licenses, credit and debit cards, and checks. They then use the identification to illegally cash the checks at local banks and credit unions. This group goes so far as to hire people who resemble the victims, or wear wigs and make-up in order to cash the checks. Usually, the crooks will use the furthest drive-up teller at financial institutions, in an attempt to make identifying them more difficult. License plates are also sometimes stolen and attached, illegally, to rental vehicles with tinted windows that they use for the crime.

The FLG usually targets the cars of women who park at gyms, fitness centers, parks, day care center, etc. Basically, they like places where women are apt to leave their purses in the vehicle.

Winslow Police urge keeping your vehicle locked at all times. Never leave a purse or other valuables visible in the vehicle. Better yet, just take them with you. If you see someone who appears to be going through vehicles, do not confront them. Call police immediately from a safe distance and report the suspicious activity. Immediately report to police if your license plate has been stolen or someone has broken into your car. And immediately report to your financial institution any identification, debit or credit cards, or checks that have been stolen.

Finally, police say, do not agree to cash checks for anyone that you don't know personally, and report it to police if someone asks you to cash a check. Be careful, protect your belongings, keep your eyes open, and stay safe!