YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Women stand accused in several high-profile robberies in Suffolk County.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, some of the suspects are mothers and some are considered armed and dangerous.
Before dawn on Monday, two masked bandits demanded cash at a gas station in, gesturing to what appeared to be a gun.
Suffolk County police tracked down the suspects and discovered the ‘holdup men’ were actually two young women.
“It’s not that unusual to have women involved in a Bonnie and Clyde type robbery pattern. Whether it’s a wife or girlfriend, but generally their involvement is more of a supportive role,” Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron told Gusoff.
But in recent weeks, women have made appearances not only as accomplices but as principal actors in dangerous and sometimes armed holdups.
They’re no doubt fueled by addictive drugs, Gusoff reported.
“The level of desperation shown here with women committing robberies just highlights how prolific this problem is for us,” Cameron said.
Lauren Macsia, 31, was charged with leading her mother and brother in a string of six knifepoint robberies in less than a week.
One woman armed with a knife allegedly held up a store in North Lindenhurst last month.
Experts say drug addiction is now an equal opportunity scourge.
“We have seen over time a dramatic shift among women and particularly younger women using heroin,” said Dr. Jeffery Reynolds, president of the Family and Children’s Association.
He says the crimes ramp up as the need for heroin multiples over time.
“We’ve seen some home burglaries, but I’ll tell you as somebody gets more and more desperate, that bar in terms of what they’re willing to do in order to connect with heroin and finance their habit tends to increase,” Reynolds said.
Complicating the matter, women with children have few treatment options without leaving their kids.
“I think it’s so sad with this epidemic. I know so many young people that have become addicted just from taking a pain killer from a toothache,” one woman said.
Police say if it is a trend, they are getting ahead of it. In the 11 incidents in the last month and a half, only one of the female suspect remains at large.