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2 alleged members of Felony Lane Gang, known to target moms, arrested

Police in Matthews recently arrested two women who they said are part of a larger gang known to steal innocent people’s identity information in order to commit fraud.

Investigators said that on April 18, workers at the State Employees Credit Union on Matthews Township Parkway reported that the two women, later identified as Dusty Wheaton and Alisha Mowery, had tried to fraudulently cash a check and ask about the account balance through the bank drive-through.

The pair then sped off in a silver Chevrolet Tahoe after being refused service.

Moments later, officers spotted the Tahoe and pulled it over, arresting both Wheaton and Mowery, charging them with possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to obtain money by false pretense and financial card theft.

Detectives think the women were part of the “Felony Lane Gang” and police are trying to identify more suspects.

>> Read more trending news 

According to police, the “Felony Lane Gang” is a group based out of Florida whose members commit car break-ins to steal financial and identity information that is later used to commit fraud.

They usually operate in groups of six to nine people and have been reported active in 34 states over at least the past five years, while accumulating several million dollars.

Detectives said the vehicles that are targeted for break-ins are typically driven by women and often found in parking lots of public parks, youth sporting facilitates, fitness center and day care centers.

Police said the criminals target “mom-driven" vehicles in hopes that the women will be more prone to leave their purse or wallet inside the vehicles because they’ll be busy with their children.

While the male members of the group typically commit the car break-ins, females are recruited to impersonate the female victim at the bank for the fraudulent transaction, police said.

The women will alter their appearance as much as possible, including wearing wigs, to look like the victim during the transaction, and police said they will go through the farthest outer teller lane of the bank drive-through, which is where the name “Felony Lane Gang” comes from, in a rental car that has been fraudulently rented under the name of a previous victim.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Stacy Cooper, with the Matthews Police Department, at 704-847-5555.

For more information about this group, you can follow the Felony Lane Gang Task Force, click here.

Judge gives man 50 years over $1.2 million in stolen fajitas

An unexpected doctor’s appointment -- and 800 pounds of fajitas -- proved to be Gilberto Escamilla’s undoing.

Escamilla, 53, of Brownsville, Texas, was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to theft by a public servant, according to the Brownsville Herald. Escamilla is a former employee of the Cameron County juvenile detention center. 

Prosecutors said Escamilla spent nine years scamming the county by ordering fajitas for the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center, then intercepting the orders and selling them to his own customers. He was caught in August 2017 when he missed a shipment due to a doctor’s appointment. 

Other employees of the detention center were baffled when a delivery driver showed up with 800 pounds of fajitas, a dish that is not served in their kitchen. The driver told them he had been delivering the Mexican specialty to the facility since 2008.  

“It was selfish,” Escamilla said during his sentencing hearing on Friday, according to the Herald. “It started small and got bigger and out of control. It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”

>> Read more trending news

Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman requested the stiff sentence to send a message to public servants willing to steal from taxpayers, the Herald reported. 

“We feel a strong message should be sent,” Gilman said

Under Texas law, Escamilla faced up to 99 years in prison for the first-degree felony, NBC News reported. Theft of property becomes a first-degree felony when a person steals property valued at $200,000 or more

An additional theft charge against the defendant was dismissed as part of an earlier plea deal. 

Escamilla was fired Aug. 8 and arrested at his home, where investigators found packages of fajitas in his refrigerator. The detectives were able to track down some of his customers, who cooperated with the investigation. 

Escamilla was given a moment to tell his family goodbye before being escorted from court Friday, the Herald reported. He was taken to the Cameron County Jail to await transfer into the state prison system. 

Police discover Michigan woman living in house with dead man

Police in Michigan discovered the badly decomposed body of a man in his bed, and also found that a woman had been living in the house and had not contacted authorities, WJBK reported.

>> Read more trending news

Police in Warren found George Curtis, 68, dead inside his home Monday after family members requested a welfare check.

“Relatives came over yesterday wanting to get in touch with him 'cause his sister was ill or something," Jamie Caza, a neighbor, told WJBK. "They went over there, knocked around and didn't see anything. They suggested going to police."

It was possible that Curtis had been dead for several months, WJBK reported.

"He obviously had been dead for quite a long period of time," Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer told WWJ. "It's pretty disturbing. We're talking several months that he was lying in that bed."

"My wife was telling me how bad it smelled in there, I'm not sure how you can breathe in there," neighbor Jacob Caza told WJBK.

Police took the woman living with Curtis to a hospital for a mental evaluation. They also sent Curtis’ body to the medical examiner to determine how he died, WJBK reported.

"It really is bizarre," Dwyer told WWJ. "For someone to be living in a home for months with someone that had for whatever reason died, to live with the odor and the other factors that are involved in this, it's just quite frankly very disturbing."

Mother takes to social media to warn others of dry drowning

As warming weather is starting to creep in, more children will be hitting the pools sooner rather than later and parents may have forgotten about the condition called secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

One mom is thankful that she caught a news report last year that recently saved her daughter’s life.

Elianna was swimming at her grandparents’ home in Sarasota, Florida, earlier this month, WTSP reported. The whole family was in the pool having fun. 

“We were all just playing, taking the [swim] noodle and blowing water in each other’s faces, and then she just happened to put her mouth on it the same time someone else put their mouth on the other end, and it all went down,” Lacey Grace, Elianna’s mother, told WTSP.

>> Read more trending news 

Grace said that Lacey threw up the water and she thought all was OK.

But two days later, she came down with a fever, and two days after that she went to her doctor then to urgent care, WTSP reported.

It’s a good thing she did. 

“[We] went from there to the urgent care, which was about five minutes and in that five minutes, her skin turned purple. Her heart rate was through the roof. Her oxygen level was dropping. The doctor came right in and just said, ‘I don’t know where the nearest ER is’ because he’s new to the area, but he said, ‘You have to get to it right away,’” Grace told WTSP.

Grace had a feeling that her daughter was experiencing dry drowning. She had read an article about a boy in Texas, named Frankie, who died of secondary, or dry, drowning.

It happens when you inhale water and it gets into the lungs. 

>>Read: Children may face drowning danger 24 hours after hitting the pool

Elianna is on antibiotics and recovering from aspiration pneumonia. Grace also posted to Facebook to remind parents of the symptoms. Grace calls Frankie her angel, WTSP reported.

Christina Aguilera joins James Corden for Carpool Karaoke

Christina Aguilera was the latest singer to join “The Late Late Show” host James Corden on his series, “Carpool Karaoke.”

During Corden’s third prime-time special, the singer chatted about her time in “The New Mickey Mouse Club” and sang a few of her hits.

>> Read more trending news 

Most songs came from Aguilera’s 2002 album “Stripped,” including “Fighter,” “Dirrty” and “Beautiful.”

At one point, comedian Melissa McCarthy pops up in the back seat of the car to spit Redman’s rap verse in “Dirrty.”

Related: Watch Will Smith, James Corden get jiggy with it in ‘Carpool Karaoke: The Series’

Aguilera also gives Corden and McCarthy diva and vocal coaching. 

See the extended clip from “Carpool Karaoke” in the video below.

Semi-trucks line interstate to help stop man from jumping off overpass

More than a dozen tractor-trailers formed a line under an overpass on Interstate 696 in Detroit early Tuesday to help stop a man who was contemplating jumping from the overpass, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities were called to I-696 near the Coolidge exit just before 1 a.m., WJBK reported. Negotiators worked for several hours to convince the man not to jump as authorities directed several tractor-trailers to park under the overpass, according to the news station.

Michigan State Police shared an image of 13 tractor-trailers that were lined up side-by-side on the interstate, in case the man jumped.

“This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public,” police said Tuesday on Twitter. “But also in that photo is a man struggling with the decision to take his own life.”

The unidentified man came down from the edge of the overpass through the combined efforts of police and the truck drivers, The Detroit Free-Press reported.

“Please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255,” state police wrote on Twitter. “You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911. There are so many people that can help you make the choice to get help and live! It is our hope to never see another photo like this again.”

Huntington Woods police took the man to Beaumont Hospital for an evaluation, WJBK reported.

Officials reopened I-696 to traffic around 4 a.m.

Candy company introduces gummy beers

You’ve heard of gummy bears. A candy company that caters to adults is introducing gummy beers.

>> Read more trending news

Sugarfina has teamed up with Corona Light to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by launching limited-edition Corona Light and lime-flavored gummy candies ahead of Cinco de Mayo, WFLA reported.

The company is introducing two products: But First, Cerveza; and Here For a Good Lime.

But First, Cerveza, features a gummy shaped like a bottle of Corona Lite and tastes “like sunshine in a bottle,” according to a release on the Sugarfina website. 

Here For a Good Lime is shaped like a lime slice and are described as “tart and zesty.”

Although both candies have a beer-like taste, neither flavor is alcoholic, WFLA reported.

Both come in individual boxes for $7.50, according to the company website. A combination bento box that also includes a lime-shaped bottle opener costs $26.

The candies went on pre-sale on Monday, with in-store sales to begin April 1 at Sugarfina boutiques and Nordstrom stores, WFLA reported.

Waffle House shooting: Remembering the victims

Four people were killed when a nearly nude gunman, armed with an AR-15, opened fire at a Nashville, Tennessee, Waffle House Sunday.

>> Read more trending news 

Travis Reinking, is the suspected shooter, was arrested Monday afternoon after police got a tip about a man crossing into a wooded area near the Waffle House.

Related: Who is James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter?

Those killed have been identified as Akilah DaSilva, 23, DeEbony Groves, 21, Joe R. Perez, 20, and Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29. Two others, Shanita Waggoner, 21, and Sharita Henderson, 24, were injured. 

Here is what we know about the victims.

Akilah DaSilva

DaSilva was at the restaurant with his older brother and Waggonner, his girlfriend of five years. He was critically wounded at the restaurant and later died at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

The 23-year-old was a musical engineering student at Middle Tennessee State University and a musician who went by the stage name Natrix, his mother, Shaundell Brooks, told WTVF.

The family released the following statement on DaSilva:

“Akilah DaSilva also known as Natrix (his stage name) was a humble kind and well respected young man. His character spoke volumes. One of 6 loving siblings, Akilah was passionate about his music, family, and life. He was pursuing a career in musical engineering at MTSU. He had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that would warm your heart. He embodied compassion and had a zeal for life. A loving son and selfless friend, he was a beacon of hope, love, and strength in his family. “His family hopes that in the midst of this senseless act of terrorism and hate, his life will not be in vain. We hope that this tremendous loss will spark tangible action in true gun law reform so no other family would ever have to experience this sort of tragedy. “In the wake of this tragic event, The DaSilva Family welcomes prayers, words of comfort, and any contribution during their time of grief.”

GoFundMe page has been created by the family. It has surpassed its $10,000 goal.

DeEbony Groves

A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Groves was with some of her sorority sisters, including Henderson, at the Waffle House, WKRN reported. She was fatally shot in the restaurant. The New York Times reported she was a senior sociology major at Belmont University and worked two jobs

“The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential,” the school said in a statement. “We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief.”

Groves’ grandmother, Carolyn Groves, told the NYT she would always find time to visit her. 

“She was a sweetheart,” Groves said of her granddaughter.

Police told The Tennessean Henderson is in critical but stable condition.

Delta Sigma Theta president Beverly E. Smith said in a statement that the sorority will mourn the injuries and loss of life.

“Sorors, we will honor those who have lost their lives or who have been affected by gun violence by raising our voices, casting our votes and standing on the side of justice in our communities,” Smith said. “We mourn this loss today, but we will not let this act of violence silence our will to do what is right.”

Joe R. Perez

The Associated Press reported that, according to a police statement, Perez, 20, was killed in the parking lot of the Waffle House with Taurean Sanderlin, 29.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Perez was from Texas and had family in Austin. Patricia Perez, who is reportedly the victim’s mother, posted on Facebook Sunday asking for prayers.

“Please say a prayer for my family for today is the hardest day of my life,” the post said. “Me, my husband and sons are broken right now with this loss. Our lives are shattered.”

The New York Times reported that Perez moved to Nashville to work with one of his two older brothers after graduating from Hays High School in 2016. He was supposed to pick up his mother from the airport Wednesday when she visited him in Nashville. She last spoke to him Saturday night.

“I will never see him again,” Patricia Perez aid. “He was my baby.”

Taurean C. Sanderlin

Sanderlin, a Waffle House employee, was killed in the restaurant parking lot with Joe Perez, The AP reported

According to The New York Times, Walter G. Ehmer, the chief executive of Waffle House, said Sanderlin had worked at the chain for five years. The Goodlettsville, Tennessee, resident, was slain as he stood outside the restaurant while taking a break, The Tennessean reported.

Las Vegas shooting survivors from California announce engagement 

A California couple who survived the mass shooting in Las Vegas last October has announced their engagement, KNBC reported.

>> Read more trending news

Mykenzie Lane, 22, and Brandon Helmick, 21, were in attendance at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds.

Lane was hit by a bullet, but was saved from further injury when Helmick used his body to shield her, KNBC reported. Lane was wounded in her left foot, The Orange County Register reported.

The couple has been dating for three years, and Helmick proposed on Friday.

The wedding date is set for Aug. 3, KNBC reported.

Why did free apple cost a woman $500?

A Colorado woman is paying the price for forgetting an apple in her bag when flying internationally.

Crystal Tadlock recently was returning to Arvada from Paris when flight attendants on the international flight handed out apples in sealed plastic bags, KDVR reported.

She said she didn’t want it at the time, so she tossed it in her bag, intending to eat it on her second flight to Denver, KDVR reported.

When she landed in Minneapolis, she went through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Minneapolis, where she was supposed to declare fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, meat, animal products or live animals, the Washington Post reported.

>> Read more trending news 

That free apple ended up costing Tadlock $500, a fine for not declaring the fruit and bringing it into the U.S., KDVR reported.

Tadlock says she shouldn’t have been fined for a mistake. She’s also saying that Delta Airlines should have told passengers not to take the fruit with them.

She also told KDVR that she asked the agent if she could throw the apple away or eat it. She said the agent said no before handing her the ticket.

Delta officials told The Washington Post that food given during a flight “is given with the intention you consume it on board.”

She told KDVR that she’s upset that she got the ticket when the fruit came from Delta and was marked with the Delta logo.

She says she plans to fight the citation in court, KDVR reported.

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