UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. -- An Upper Saddle River patrol officer on a special distracted drivers detail picked off three members of the infamous Felony Lane Gang of Florida-based car burglars, authorities told Daily Voice.
Upper Saddle River police were among 20 law enforcement agencies in Bergen County that received April state funding for stepped-up "U drive. U text. U pay." enforcement as part of the National Safety Council's Distracted Driving Month campaign.
Around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Officer Ken Osborne stopped a a white BMW SUV on Lake Street and East Saddle River Road for a cellphone violation, Detective Lt. Edward Kane told Daily Voice.
Three occupants in the car had several wigs, stolen credit cards and cash, he said.
"It clearly fit the M.O. of the Felony Lang Gang," Kane said, referring to a massive network of thieves out of Fort Lauderdale who've broken into cars up and down the East Coast the past few years.
The nationally notorious thieves have hit dozens of locations in Bergen County over the past couple of years, smashing vehicle windows and grabbing whatever valuables are in view – usually in under 30 seconds -- that they can then convert to cash.
Victims the past several months have reported vehicle burglaries in Lyndhurst, Mahwah, North Arlington, Oakland, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Saddle River and Waldwick.
Local police have arrested various purported members of the gang. Late last year, Mahwah police took a woman into custody who they said wore nine wigs to cash checks with driver's licenses and identification stolen during smash-in car burglaries.
Police captured two suspected members a short time earlier following a chase and crash in Upper Saddle River after the authorities said the thieves smashed windows and stole valuables from vehicles at the Wyckoff YMCA.
One of the three nabbed in Upper Saddle River on Wednesday was arrested by Montvale police in December 2015 after similar burglaries.
ALSO SEE: Bergen Prosecutor: Protect Your Car From 'Felony Lane Gang' ID Theft Crew
Several cards and other items that Upper Saddle River police found in the BMW were confirmed stolen out of Pennsylvania and New York, Kane said.
Borough detectives have conferred with their colleagues in both states, he said.
The trio was identified as:
- Jessica Oldaker, 24, of Orlando;
- Lamarcus Bryant, 34, of Ft. Lauderdale;
- Jacari Arnold, 30, also of Ft. Lauderdale -- who was arrested by Montvale police two years ago.
All three were charged with receiving stolen property.
Arnold and Bryant were also charged with ID theft.
She was also charged with possession of heroin and Suboxone.
A judge ordered all three held without bail in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing.