A smash and grab crime ring has hit the Fargo-Moorhead area twice in the last couple days, and authorities are asking the public to be vigilant.
Jessica Schindeldecker is crime prevention and public relations officer with the Fargo Police Department. She says the Felony Lane Gang routinely sweeps through the area, performs a number of smash and grab robberies and leaves. She says they were in the area earlier this year in January before being pushed out, and were recently reported as being as close as Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She says they typically hit parking lots of fitness centers and daycares, where people are known to leave valuables like purses in their cars during the hours of 5:30 and 8am.
"They're smashing into vehicles, grabbing purses, grabbing valuables such as computers and phones, and then they're taking off. So it's really important that we're being extra vigilant right now and make sure that we're not leaving valuables in our vehicles."
Schindeldecker says businesses in Fargo, West Fargo and Dilworth reported being hit Monday and Tuesday of this week. She says detectives and officers are actively looking for them, while also asking the public to not leave valuables in their cars at any time. Schindeldecker says banks have also been briefed on what to watch for in case anyone tries to use stolen debit cards and IDs to take cash. She says even now during times where people are social distancing to be on the lookout for anything suspicious in parking lots, and that if you see anything – to call 911 to report it. She says people in neighboring communities should also be on the lookout.