Thieves try to use stolen IDs from recent car break-ins

May 09, 2018 06:40 PM

Karen Stefanik is one of the people whose car window was smashed and purse stolen in Bethlehem Saturday.  Thieves hit the Elm Avenue Park and Line Drive athletic fields Saturday.  They also struck at a daycare in Wilton and ball fields in Ballston Spa Friday.

Investigators believe the crime spree could be the work of a national crime ring called the Felony Lane Gang.
Karen told us she got a call Tuesday from her credit union that thieves tried to use her stolen ID at different locations.

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"It was actually almost more upsetting that they tried to use my ID, you know," she said.

"The same thing that they've been doing.  They didn't get away with anything, though.  Cap Com was great."

In photos provided to us by police, you can see a woman in disguise.  

She sent over Karen's stolen ID and debit card from the credit union drive-throughs in Glenmont and North Greenbush, and tried to cash a forged check, but she was no match for Cap Com's security training and quick-thinking staff members, who saw something was very wrong.

"We train all of our front line staff to obviously make sure you're looking at the picture that's on an ID and compare it to the person that's in front of you," said Shane Shoemaker, Manager of Fraud Risk at Cap Com FCU.  "Even though that distance being in the far lane of the drive-through, it was pretty easy to tell that it did not match up with the image that was in the photo in the ID."

Police believe she was in a rental car with a switched New York license plate.

The tellers in different locations asked a number of follow-up questions, and the suspect took off without getting any stolen money.

"We focus really heavily on protecting our members and making sure that we're just doing the right thing and asking the right questions whenever we're conducting transactions for people," said Shoemaker.

That is good news to Stefanik, who is grateful the credit union noticed the suspicious activity and notified her.

"Excellent," she said.  "I love them.  I trust them.  I'm very happy that they caught onto that.  They knew something wasn't right."

Stefanik says anyone affected by this should check their accounts very carefully, and that everyone else should remember not to leave their purses in plain sight, even in locked cars.

Bethlehem police ask people to be on the lookout for anyone putting on wigs or disguises, and anyone switching license plates.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bethlehem Police at (518) 439-9973.


Kumi Tucker

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