A three-day crime spree in May led to the recent arrests by Metro Police of 10 suspected members of an all-female gang known as the Lady Maccz, who sport the color pink and use monikers and a hand sign.
Officer Dan Woodard said police have arrested 10 women, five of whom are juveniles, for charges that include conspiracy, robbery and burglary. One woman, 21-year-old Laquay Tate from Las Vegas, is still outstanding, he said.
Woodard said the string of events began May 14 when about six females stole a Ford Expedition. The next day, a group allegedly burglarized one business and robbed two others, starting with a shoe store near Charleston and Lamb boulevards, he said.
Eleven females entered the shoe store, but most left when they weren't getting the help they wanted, police said. One female allegedly stole a pair of shoes from the store as the group left in the Ford Expedition, Woodard said.
Twenty minutes later, the 11 females allegedly robbed a clothing store near Charleston and Nellis boulevards, attacking a clerk in the process who was eight months pregnant, Woodard said. The 11 group members refused to put clothing on the counter, so the clerk tried to lock the door to prevent them from leaving, but two girls punched and knocked her to the ground, police said. They stole large quantities of clothing and left in the Ford Expedition, he said.
An hour after the first clothing store robbery, the same group allegedly robbed a similar business on West Charleston Boulevard, Woodard said. As they left the store, several girls punched the clerk and shoved her neck against the wall, he said.
On May 17, Woodard said four females entered a convenience store near Lake Mead Boulevard in North Las Vegas and cut a clerk's arm with what appeared to be a box cutter during the alleged robbery. They left the store in the same Ford Expedition, he said.
A police officer stopped the Ford Expedition later that night with one of the suspects in it, he said.
From there, Woodard said investigators started with two names and the vehicle description to identify the rest of the suspects.
"One suspect interview would give up information about the other girls' names, identifying features, nicknames, that sort of thing, which would lead us to another girl," he said. "...That girl would usually give up someone else until we had all 11 females identified."
Using databases, police said they discovered about half of the suspects were known members of the female gang, Lady Maccz, which was established in 2007 or 2008.
Police classified Lady Maccz as a hybrid-type gang, meaning its members don't try to control a certain territory. Many of the females, however, were dating or somehow linked to males in the Wood and GPK gangs in Las Vegas, Woodard said.
"Typically, they date guys from other gangs, which creates problems because they'll go to parties with ex-boyfriends from other gangs showing up to see them," he said. "And violence erupts."
Although all-female gangs are less common — constituting two of the 557 documented gangs in the Las Vegas Valley — Sgt. Anthony Longo from Metro's gang unit said many of the same factors lure women to gangs: money, the thrill and the sense of camaraderie.
"The female gang part of gang membership has been there for almost as long as the male gang members," he said. "You just don't see them as often."
Often times, Longo said, male gang members let females, who may be their girlfriends or sisters, use their vehicles and stay at their houses in exchange for the females helping them commit crimes.
Police said there are about 1,500 documented female gang members and about 13,500 documented male gang members in the Las Vegas Valley.
Woodard said most of the Lady Maccz members met at Las Vegas High School and have prior criminal records. The five juveniles arrested in connection with the May crime spree have been charged with conspiracy, robbery and burglary. Police weren't releasing names of the juveniles.
The following adults, including one teen who will charged as an adult, were also arrested:
- Laivory Bass, 20, of Las Vegas and known as "Queen Macc": charged with possession of stolen property - firearm, conspiracy, robbery and burglary.
- Geneva Williams, 18, of Las Vegas and known as "G Mac": charged with conspiracy, robbery and burglary.
- Laquinthia Sharee Zeamer, 19, of Las Vegas and known as "Quinny": charged with conspiracy, robbery and burglary.
- Chaquaya Moore, 20, of Las Vegas and known as "Shay Macc": charged with conspiracy, robbery and burglary.
- Delashounda Russell, 15 (will be charged as an adult based on her prior record), of Las Vegas: charged with challenging to fight, burglary, robbery, robbery with a deadly weapon and attempted murder with a deadly weapon...