EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A Tennessee woman tied to a gang stealing valuables from parked vehicles in the St. Louis region and using stolen IDs to get money from those victims’ bank accounts has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Illinois said Heather Harper pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Harper conspired with others in December 2020 to cash stolen checks and fraudulently obtain funds from banks using stolen IDs and driver’s licenses belonging to people living in the St. Louis metro area. On Dec. 11, 2020, she cashed a check made payable to a person whose identity had been stolen at First Bank in O’Fallon, Illinois.
Harper said she would often disguise herself to look like the individuals on the stolen IDs. She was finally arrested in Webster Groves in December 2020 after reportedly trying to cash a check for $1,852. At the time, police said they found wigs in Harper’s car and clues on her phone that she was connected to the Felony Lane Gang.
Lake St. Louis police and other local law enforcement said the group steals items from vehicles in parking lots and along streets. Arrests go back to November 2018 in St. Charles County and June 2017 in St. Louis County.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Harper to 30 months in prison.
Numerous law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Mississippi River were involved in the investigation, including the O’Fallon (IL), Webster Groves, Shrewsbury, Maryland Heights, Des Peres, and St. Charles County police departments, as well as the U.S. Secret Service.
Charges are still pending against Harper for defrauding banks in St. Louis County.