SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Syracuse woman was arrested on Friday, March 24, on 16 different charges related to the Felony Lane Gang.
The New York State Police arrested 38-year-old Erin L. Hilliard from Syracuse for 16 charges involving identity theft, grand larceny, forgery and more.
Hilliard’s arrest came from a call from the State Employee Federal Credit Union (SEFCU) to State Police to report that they had been the victim of Felony Lane Gang style larcenies in the Town of Cicero and in the city of Syracuse.
After an investigation and collaborative effort by the New York State Police, Syracuse Police Department, SEFCU staff, and the Town of Colonie Police Department, Hilliard was identified and arrested on March 24.
Hillard was arrested for the following charges:
- 2 counts of Identity Theft 1st degree, class “D” felony
- 1 count of Grand Larceny 3rd degree, class “D” felony
- 1 count of Forgery 2nd degree, class “D” felony
- 2 counts of Falsifying Business Records 1st degree, class “E” felony
- 1 count of Possession Forged Instrument 2nd degree, class “D” felony
- 1 count of Grand Larceny 4th degree, class “E” felony
- 2 counts of Criminal Impersonation 2nd degree, class “A” misdemeanor
- 1 count of Conspiracy 5th degree, class “A” misdemeanor
- 2 counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5th degree, class “A” misdemeanor
- 2 counts of Unlawful Possession of Personal ID 3rd degree, class “A” misdemeanor
Hilliard was arraigned and remanded to the Onondaga County Justice Center.
It was last week that the Town of Manlius Police Department Sergeant, Ken Hatter said the Felony Lane Gang had made its way back to the Syracuse area. Then on March 23, reports of the gang were made that they had broken into cars parked at the Fulton War Memorial, stealing purses, checkbooks and IDS.
The Felony Lane Gang is made up of hundreds of members who travel across the United States and commit crimes.
According to Sergeant Hatter, the Felony Lane Gang’s typical crime is to smash out the window of a vehicle with items of value in view and run, or smash and grab.
These individuals seek cash, credit cards, checkbooks, and most importantly, the victim’s identification. They will use people to pose as victims and deplete their bank accounts.
Felony Lane is a term coined by the banks to describe the lane furthest from the drive-thru window, typically used by these individuals who are trying to conceal their identity and lower their risk of capture.
Not only will the criminal enterprise steal money and break into cars but go to great lengths to blend in while carrying out its scams. Those include renting a car, stealing and switching the license plates to make the vehicle appear to be from the area, buying nice clothes and wearing a wig to look more like the victim in the photo on their driver’s license.
According to Sergeant Hatter, they will commit a series of crimes and then flee the area, only to return at a future time.
The Town of Manlius Police Department encourages Central New Yorkers to not leave personal items in plain view in their cars and if you see any suspicious activity, call 911.
Regardless of where an owner parks their vehicle — side of the road, parking lot, store, park, etc. — you could still be a victim of this crime.
In order to not be victimized by the Felony Lane Gang, police advise you to not leave your cash, wallets, purses, wristlets, backpacks, credit cards, IDs or checkbooks in your vehicle, especially in plain view.
If you are missing a license plate or both plates, report it to the police as the plates could be used in the furtherance of their criminal activity.