Alleged Serial Forger, Thief Arrested in Northland

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PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Prosecutors say that a woman suspected of being a part of a gang responsible for numerous thefts and forgeries across the Midwest is in jail after being arrested for allegedly attempting to cash a stolen check.

Laura Jane Smith, 37, faces forgery charges after she attempted to cash the stolen check with a fraudulent ID in the drive-through lane of a Northland U.S. Bank. According to prosecutors, a bank teller alarmed the suspect by asking her a series of questions. She then tried to flee the scene, leaving behind a $1,000 stolen check, state issued ID and bank card.

Smith was later identified by witnesses. The stolen checks were later traced to Overland Park, Kansas.

In addition to the Platte County charges, Smith also faces five forgery charges from Jackson County.

Prosecutors say that Smith is an alleged member of the “Felony Lane Gang,” so-named because the suspects allegedly try to cash stolen checks from the bank drive-through lanes farthest from the teller, often disguised as their victims. According to law enforcement, the gang first appeared in the Miami, Florida, area several years ago.

The group is suspected in several similar cases across the Midwest, including Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana.

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