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Frederick News Post Newspaper Archives Aug 14 2015, Page 5

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Frederick News Post (Newspaper) - August 14, 2015, Frederick, MarylandFriday August 14, 2015 the Frederick news Post from Page one a5 gang members will pick locations such As Parks Post offices and Day care and fitness centers and Survey the area often watching a woman place her purse on the Back seat or a Backpack in the trunk before committing the smash and grab crime typically associated with the felony Lane gang. Park adjacent to the vehicle punch out the window and grab the purse Michael said adding that members will use this method even if the car is unlocked. Any personal or Bank information obtained is then used to Access the victims accounts create a new account into which they can funnel Money or in one Case pay taxes in another state according to Michael. But the most common form of the organizations stealing Money is cashing checks in the farthest Lane of a Bank drive thru. This Lane has been dubbed the felony Lane which is where the gang derives its name because the distance makes it difficult for employees and surveillance to identify the Driver. On any Given Day they can earn Over $ 10,000 going from Bank to Bank with checks Michael said. Although the felony Lane gang originated in fort Lauderdale Florida Law enforcement officials believe the criminal organization is Active in almost every state in the u. S., As its members have made Road trips from Florida and dispersed throughout the nation according to Michael. The gang began in the Early 2000s, but car burglaries in Maryland have been linked to the criminal network As Early As 2012, according to detective Crystal Lopez of the Maryland National capital Park police of Montgomery county who has spearheaded regional efforts to track the felony Lane gang. They like to go where they re not known. To the wealthy areas to steal stuff Lopez said. Maryland and Virginia both Are getting hit pretty hard because of the pockets of wealthier areas. In Frederick county a few cases involving the felony Lane gang Date Back to 2013, but Law enforcement agencies charged suspects in those crimes Lopez said. With the rising trend in car burglaries linked to the criminal organization Law enforcement agencies across the state Are sharing information and collaborating in an Effort to crack Down. Were working together As investigators to show the bigger picture and were starting to make some ground Lopez said. Traditionally they steal from one area and Cash checks in another area a move that requires agencies in different jurisdictions to work together to press charges. To prevent future car burglaries Lopez and Michael urged residents not to leave valuables in their cars especially any purse bag or Wallet even for a Short time. A lot of women have their purse and dont feel like carrying it around so throw it in their Back seat. Well they re watching you do that Lopez said. One woman i think threw it in their trunk and they got it. Your vehicle is not a secure environment. They re crimes of Opportunity Lopez added. They drive around All Day looking for areas that might be crowded and watch women leave purses in their cars. If you find your car is broken into and items Are missing Lopez recommended calling your local Law enforcements nonemergency number to report the crime. In Frederick county the nonemergency number is 301 600 2071. In addition cancel any open checking and savings accounts. Michael advised switching Banks to prevent suspects from reopening an old account or launching a new one and transferring your funds. What they re doing is taking the purse throwing everything away and keeping the checks and id and credit card Lopez said. And then they re going and pulling through a drive thru of a Bank posing As you and getting $ 2,000 at a time. Follow Paige Jones on twitter @ Paige Tejones. Gang continued from a1 Courtesy of the Frederick county sheriffs office a map shows the Sites of suspected felony Lane gang thefts in Frederick county. In 2012, the internal Revenue service seized an account with about $ 60,000 that belonged to the sow Erses. The irs said the couple were violating Federal currency reporting requirements by depositing Money in payments less than $ 10,000 a practice known As structuring. Since the Money was deposited in these increments the couple did not need to fill out forms needed under the Bank secrecy act. Randy Sowers said their Bank Teller told them at the time that if they deposited Money in increments less than $ 10,000, it would reduce paperwork making the tellers life easier. they did not knowing they were breaking Federal Law. Randy Sowers said the couple did nothing wrong but they decided to opt for a settlement. He said fighting in court would have Cost More in lawyers fees than $ 30,000 the amount he would lose by taking the settlement. They kind of threaten you to get you to sign the paperwork Randy Sowers said. I a snot going to get anywhere by fighting it because there a snot anybody who was behind me. It would ave just been futile for me to do that. The House ways and Means subcommittee on oversight wrote a letter wednesday to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urging him to return the funds seized from the sow Erses and for the department of Treasury to review other cases in which the irs might have wrongly seized funds due to structuring. This is an Opportunity for the Treasury department to right the wrong done to or. And mrs. Sowers subcommittee chairman Peter Roskam said in an email. Roskam said the irs commissioner apologized to the businesses whose funds were seized out of suspicion that the owners violated the structuring statute. But the sow Erses deserve More than an apology they deserve their Money Back he said. And we Are committed to ensuring that happens. Earlier this year the subcommittee found that what happened to the sow Erses was also happening to other Small businesses. These businesses were having their Money seized without due process devastating the businesses and families involved because of How they were depositing Money the subcommittee found. the department of Justice updated its policy saying it would Stop targeting these businesses unless there was evidence that criminal activity was involved. The policy change was to avoid seizing funds that did not come from an illegal source and to Stop what happened to the sow Erses from happening to other businesses. The response from the department of Treasury could not be confirmed by deadline. The sow Erses also filed a petition a few weeks ago to the Justice department and the irs to get their Money Back. The petition says that the government never even alleged that Randy and Karen did anything unlawful aside from depositing Cash. In the petition the sow Erses ask for More than an apology. The government has authority to return the Money the petition says so it should Correct its mistake. Randy Sowers said now he is just waiting to see what happens. Besides getting his Money Back and helping other businesses to get their Money Back he wants to show people what the government has the Power to do. I really just want people to know How our government treats perfectly legitimate businesses with no regard for what could happen to you if they take All your Money one Day Sowers said. They dont care if you go out of business. They just dont care at All. Follow Rebecca Savransky on twitter @ Becca Savransky. Assets continued from a1 from left Are Kate Sowers Karen Sowers Randy Sowers Ben Sowers Sam Sowers 2, Abby Brusco and Tony Brusco in front of the Dairy cooler in 2006 at the family owned and operated South Mountain Creamery. News Post file photo by Travis s. Pratt

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