Police urge residents to lock cars after wave of thefts in North Greenbush

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You are always told not to leave valuable items in plain view in your car. Now North Greenbush Police are explaining why.

There are reports of "Felony Lane Gang" activity. It’s a loose network of people who steal debit cards and checks from parked cars or gym lockers and use them at local bank branches.

North Greenbush made a post on Facebook with two photos of a woman that is believed to be part of the gang. The group is known to use disguises, so the woman in the photo could be wearing a wig.

Police explain in the Facebook post that a transaction was declined by the bank she went to, but several other transactions across the area were done and a total of $16,000 was stolen in one day.

This happens in waves across the East Coast.

At the Colonie Mohawk River Park, a car was broken into. The driver’s side window was also smashed. Colonie police said a purse was stolen that was in plain view.

NewsChannel 13 is also told that the parking lot was packed that night, and thieves went into other cars that were unlocked.

Colonie police are not considering this report as part of the Felony Lane Gang, because it was an isolated incident. However, the timing is interesting.

"The unfortunate part in this day in age is situational awareness is important for everybody. The understanding that criminals are looking. They are watching. They see exactly what you are doing, they know where you put things. If you put your valuables in certain places, they’re going to see you doing that most times," said North Greenbush Police Chief David Keevern.

On that note, police say double-check your doors and that the doors are locked. Some people will also leave their valuables and other items in the trunk of their car. Make sure you put those items in the trunk before you leave home. Thieves might be watching you in a parking lot and seek you out.