Lawrence police arrest two after suspected felony lane gang related activity
On July 6, 2018, Anissa DeGroat was sentenced to six years in prison on theft, fraud and resisting law enforcement charges, with 82 days of jail credit.
On July 17, 2018, Kelsey Oliver pleaded guilty to fraud. Several other charges, including forgery and theft, were dismissed as part of a plea deal. Oliver was sentenced to 3 years in the Department of Correction and given 243 days of credit for jail time served.
LAWRENCE, Ind. – Lawrence Police are investigating suspected felony lane gang related activity after arresting two people from out of town.
Now, investigators said they’re determining whether the duo is linked to any other crimes around central Indiana.
The felony lane gang is a type of activity where criminals from out of town stake out parking lots to break into cars, then try to cash stolen checks and make fraudulent purchases.
“It kind of seems to be the crime du jour, if you will,” Lawrence Police Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff said.
This is the second time this year felony lane gang related activity has hit Lawrence. Police said Tuesday, a woman’s purse was stolen from her car at Fort Harrison State Park.
“Then the following day, used items from that purse to, including stolen checks, including checks that were stolen from that purse,” Woodruff said.
Police said when the woman was inside the Financial Center First Credit Union closing her accounts, the suspects showed up too.
“Those folks were in the outermost drive thru lane trying to use their identification to get money out of their account,” Woodruff said.
Police said the credit union called police. As the driver pulled out of the lane, police said a chase started on Interstate 69, all the way to the entrance of the IKEA in Fishers.
Police said they arrested the driver of the vehicle, Anissa Degroat, 45, from Sparta, TN and Kelsey Oliver, 19, from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Degroat is facing charges of forgery, theft and fleeing law enforcement. Oliver is facing charges of forgery and fraud.
Police said detectives are working to determine if the duo is linked to any crimes at other financial institutions in the region.
“When we served a search warrant on the vehicle they were driving we did find evidence of that so we’re following up with that,” Woodruff said.
While detectives look into that, banking officials are reminding you what to do if your information becomes compromised.
“Act quickly upon realizing a loss, that time is valuable and the sooner that watches and precautions can be taken, that’s gonna minimize loss both to the financial institution industry as well as the individual,” Paul Freeman, the executive vice president for Indiana Bankers Association, said.
Freeman said you should call your bank or credit card issuers immediately so your accounts can be closed, contact fraud units at the three credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report and consider a credit freeze so criminals can’t open new accounts using your information.