Falmouth, Freeport break-ins could be work of traveling gang

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FALMOUTH — A series of vehicle break-ins in Falmouth and Freeport have police investigating a possible connection to a national string of similar crimes.

The forced vehicle entries at Foreside Fitness on Route 1 in Falmouth and at the Casco Bay Regional YMCA on Old South Freeport Road in Freeport occurred on Dec. 18.

The Falmouth Police Department is investigating the reports with Freeport police and other agencies, but Lt. John Kilbride on Monday wouldn’t say they are definitely the work of what is called the Felony Lane Gang.

Kilbride said he isn’t sure if any other towns in the area have had similar break-ins, or if the break-ins are definitely connected.

“We’re assuming it’s not just Falmouth and Freeport,” Kilbride said.

Incidents attributed to the Felony Lane Gang have been reported from as far away as Texas. The gang is a Florida-based group that travels the country and breaks into cars to steal purses and handbags containing credit cards, driver’s licenses and other forms of identification that can be used to cash counterfeit checks. The gang frequently breaks into cars parked at gyms, fitness centers and day-care centers.

“It’s on the table,” Kilbride said of the possibility of Felony Lane Gang involvement. “But we’re investigating everything.”

A vehicle with Florida plates was reportedly seen at the YMCA, although police were unable to locate it. Kilbride said there have been no vehicle descriptions available in Falmouth.

All the break-ins occurred during the day, and involved thieves smashing windows. Kilbride said the thieves likely wait in the parking lots, watching people go inside. They assume they have about an hour before the owners will return.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, always secure pocketbooks and things of value in your car,” Kilbride said. He added that everyone should remember to lock their doors, too, because there is always someone looking for an opportunity.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.