DAVENPORT, Iowa (WHBF) — A 36-year-old Plantation, Fla., woman faces multiple felony charges after Davenport Police allege she is connected to “smash-and-grab” vehicle burglaries and “Felony Lane” crimes throughout the Quad Cities area.
Janice Cabano faces these felony charges, according to court records:
- First-degree theft
- Four counts of forgery
- Four counts of identity theft over $1,500 and under $10,000.
On March 25 and 26, Cabano passed, or attempted to pass, numerous forged stolen checks using stolen identification and stolen bank cards at different Scott County banks in Bettendorf, Davenport, Eldridge, and LeClaire, totaling over $17,000 in losses, arrest affidavits say. “She also hit banks in Dewitt and Clinton, Iowa on those days,” according to affidavits. All of the aforementioned stolen items had previously been stolen during numerous Felony Lane Gang-style smash-and-grab vehicle burglaries in Bettendorf, Davenport, and Eldridge.
‘Felony Lane’ crimes
The Felony Lane Gang, according to the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is a group of thieves based in Fort Lauderdale that travels across the United States stealing identities and checkbooks from unattended cars (“smash-and-grabs.”)
With the stolen checkbooks and driver’s licenses, the gang cashes checks using the drive-through lanes of banks. The lane farthest from video cameras and tellers has been dubbed the “felony lane” because of the ease with which false identities can be used to cash checks.
Detective work and suspect identification
During the incidents Cabano was driving a maroon 2020 Ford Edge that was rented by another woman from Plantation, Florida. A black 2020 Chrysler Voyager was seen on traffic cameras running in tandem with Cabano in the Ford Edge. The Voyager was found to be rented by a different woman from Hollywood, Florida, which is adjacent to Plantation, Florida, according to affidavits.
Affidavits say a fraudulent license plate was used on the Ford Edge during the incidents instead of its correct Florida license plate. Suspect photos from bank security video of the Bettendorf incident were emailed to the Florida Department of Transportation for a Florida driver’s license photo facial-recognition search. Florida returned only one possible match: Janice Cabano’s Florida driver’s license photos.
Police compared suspect photos against Cabano’s Florida driver’s license photos and identified her as the suspect in the fraud and forgery cases. Cabano was back in the Quad Cities at the end of July committing the same crimes, police allege in affidavits. Law enforcement identified Cabano as the suspect in the July incidents.
Suspect photos from the investigation showed the same flower tattoo on Cabano’s upper right arm as Cabano’s photos from her open-source Facebook page that show her upper right arm, according to police.
Police say Cabano has active warrants in Iowa, Tennessee, and North Carolina for the same type of crimes.
Cabano, who is being held on a total $88,300 bond in Scott County Jail, is set for a preliminary hearing Nov. 4 in Scott County Court.