Published Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 3:10 p.m.
Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 6:19 p.m.
Metro Police have arrested three men they say are responsible for a month-long spree of highly organized robberies in Las Vegas and the northern valley.
Justin Loper, 26, Kevin Hall, 26, and Keith Williams, 23, were arrested Sunday after attempting to flee their latest robbery, Metro said Thursday afternoon. Police say they have stolen as much as $16,000 in robberies of 24-hour businesses in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
The trio was allegedly so effective that Metro termed their crime spree the "Stack and Sack" series. "Stack" because they would methodically raid businesses armed with guns and "Sack" because they would usually rob everyone and everything in sight, said Metro spokesman Larry Hadfield.
They are accused of robbing 16 businesses in a little over a month, starting June 14. The men would often rob several places in under a few hours, one right after another, hitting businesses in the early morning hours of Fridays and Sundays, according to police.
"They had an MO, they were in and out with masks and gloves but we knew that eventually we would get some leads and we did," Metro Captain Czaba Maczala said at a press conference Thursday.
To find the trio, Metro formed a task force made up of units from Metro, North Las Vegas Police, the Nevada Highway Patrol and the FBI. Metro tapped the NHP for help after they noticed that the suspects had a habit of using Interstate 15 and U.S. 95 as go-to escape routes.
By analyzing surveillance footage from the businesses, law enforcement agencies were able to link the suspects to all 16 robberies based on clothing, habits and customs, and masks.
Recently, the trio were starting to get bolder and bolder, according to police. On one night they even robbed 4 businesses, Maczala said.
"We knew they were getting pretty comfortable," Maczala said.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, the three men robbed a Circle K store on Vegas Drive. They made off with $750 to $1,000 and a bag of Newports before leaving the business and fleeing east.
A Metro detective responding recognized one of the suspects after viewing the surveillance tape. The suspect was left-handed and had used the same handgun and mask in previous robberies, the police report said.
Law enforcement agencies began to converge in the northeast and southeast parts of the valley because the suspects were known to commit one robbery on the west side of town before committing another one on the east side 30 to 60 minutes later.
Within 45 minutes of the Circle K being robbed, the suspects robbed a Mini Mart at 3342 S. Sandhill Road, the police report said.
Patrol units spotted the suspects in a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria and gave chase. The driver eventually lost control of the vehicle and hit a bus bench on Stewart Avenue.
After the car came to a stop in the median, the three men fled into residential areas before being caught, police said.
The driver, Loper, said he participated in the robberies as a way to financially support himself, police said. Hall said he needed the money from the robberies because his status as a convicted felon kept him from finding work. Williams, who was found locked in a van in the driveway of a house, said he participated in the robbery as a way to support his 7-year-old daughter.
Police located two bags of money that had been tossed by one of the suspects. They contained a total of $6,125.25, the police report said. Officers also recovered a handgun.
The men were booked at Clark County Detention Center and have been charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary with a weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnapping.
Maczala praised the task force for working together to make the arrest.
"If we are going to make a difference in this community, we have to pool our resources and work together," Maczala said.