Playboys (gang)

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PBS Homeboy.jpg
Playboy tattoo
Years active 1955 – present[1]
Territory Mostly in Los Angeles County California, the western and southern areas of the United States such as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Mexico, and Central America
Ethnicity Predominantly Hispanic
Membership (est.) Unknown but thought to be around 5–6,000 on the West Coast
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, assault, robbery, extortion, arms trafficking, theft, murder, racketeering, illegal immigration, illegal gambling, and fraud
Allies Mexican Mafia, Sureños, Aryan Brotherhood, Nazi Low Riders, Gulf Cartel, Mexican Klan 13, Townsmen 13, La Mirada Punks, Venice 13
Rivals Fresno Bulldogs, Florencia 13, Nortenos, Nuestra Familia, 18th Street, Clanton 14, MS-13, Crips, Bloods, Black Guerrilla Family, Texas Syndicate, Venice Shoreline Crips, Pirus, Asian Boyz

Playboys 13 Gang, also known by the short name PBS13,[2][3][4] is a violent, predominantly Hispanic street gang in West and East Los Angeles, California. They sometimes use the name Conejo[5] or Rabbit gang. They align themselves with the Mexican Mafia, also known as La eme (which is Spanish for the letter M),[6] while in prison and set aside their rivalry with other Sureño gangs.[7] In some areas they refer to their houses and meeting or hang out areas as rabbit holes.


They began on the corner of Pico Boulevard and Fedora Street in West Los Angeles, California in the mid 1950s.[1] They were originally a car club called, "Southern Califas Latin Playboys Car Club."[1] Cliques from the West Side moved to Burbank, California in the 80's and have spread out to North Hollywood and other cities in the San Fernando Valley. Eastside Playboys started in 1975 on 49th street in Los Angeles, California and the Southside Playboys started in 1982 in Bell Gardens and South Gate, California. In the beginning they were all Hispanic, but in recent years, even though it is rare, other ethnic groups have been able to gain membership making them multiethnic. However, the Playboys remain predominantly Hispanic in all their cliques from Latin America to the United States.


The original Westside Playboys gang is still active in West Los Angeles, California despite a gang injunction against them. They have also had sightings in the Antelope Valley area in Southern California [8][9] Their main territory is the area around the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Fedora Street in L.A.'s Olympic Division.[10] Various other Playboys cliques have been established due to migration of members from Southern California to various other States. Yakima, Washington has one of the largest South Side Playboy Barrios outside of California.[11] Recent reports place the Playboys Gang as far east as Memphis, Tennessee.[12] The Westside Playboys have cliques in Burbank, North Hollywood, Palmdale, Canoga Park and Lancaster, California, while the Southside Playboys have cliques in Ensenada, Mexico; Eugene and Portland, Oregon; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tacoma, Washington. The Eastside Playboys stick mainly to their original territory with a clique in Fresno, California. The Eastside Playboys have an estimated 350–400 active members in California.


Although the Playboys are a Sureño gang and use the number 13 to show allegiance to the Mexican Mafia,[13][14] they are rivals with most other Sureno gangs. The general thinking among Playboy gang members is that all other gangs are their enemy.[15] The most identifiable tattoo all Playboys gang members and cliques use is the playboy bunny.[1][2][16][17] They also use the playboy bunny logo in most of their graffiti with PBS around the head.[2] The colors that are primarily used by the different subgroups of this gang are blue, but some of the gang's subgroups have taken other colors to identify themselves and give them their own unique individualism.[18] The female subgroup known as the pink bunny clicka used the color pink and blue to represent themselves. However, many subgroups, like the pink bunny clicka, became inactive in the late 1990s. The Playboys, like many other Hispanic gangs, have a very strong sense of territory and family.[19] In recent years the Playboys have been using the internet and various social networking sites to keep in contact with one another around the country.

Criminal activity[edit]

The Playboys main revenue source is selling marijuana on Fedora and Normandie and at New Hampshire and Pico, Fedora and Pico.[10][20] They also engage in murder, drive-by shootings,[10][21] assaults and arms trafficking,[22][23] but most of their criminal activity is around the sale of marijuana. All other cliques outside of Los Angeles engage mostly the street level distribution of narcotics as their main source of revenue. However, they are still heavily engaged in other criminal acts. In Washington State there has been a lot of media coverage regarding a 2011 shooting at a car show in Kent, Washington that involved Southside Playboy members.[24] There was another incident in Eugene Oregon that made headlines where Southside Playboys members are facing a multitude of charges,[25] as well as a shooting incident in the Portland area of Oregon that resulted in the death of an innocent man.[26] Like most other street gangs, the Playboys also engage in vast amounts of graffiti throughout their neighborhoods. Breaking the gang has been difficult for police departments because there is no direct leadership and each of the gang's cliques operate totally autonomous of each other.


  1. ^ a b c d Vinson, J., Crame, J., & Von Seeburg, K. Rocky Mountain Information Network, (2008). "Surenos report" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c Phillips, S. A. (1999). Wallbangin': graffiti and gangs in l.a.. (p. 41, 209, 270). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  3. ^ Oswald, J. A. (September 8, 1988). "ION school principals taught the trappings of gang activity". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Hess, K. M., & Orthmann, C. H. (2012). Introduction to law enforcement and criminal justice. (10th ed., p. 234). Clinton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage learning.
  5. ^ "Conejo English Spanish Translation | Traductor ingles español". 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Mexican Mafia". The History Channel website. December 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century. (11 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education Inc. Print
  8. ^ Delgadillio, R. "Judgement granting permanate injunction" (PDF). City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Attorney (2006). 
  9. ^ O'Deane, M. D. (2012). Gang injunctions and abatement: Using civil remedies to curb gang-related crimes. (p. 164, 323). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  10. ^ a b c McCarthy, T. (June 13, 2005). "L.A. gangs are back". TIME Magazine. 
  11. ^ "Barrio – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  12. ^ McKenzie, K. (August 16, 2011). "Gang member arrested for fatal saturday shooting". The Commercial Appeal. 
  13. ^ Mallory, S., & Mallory, S. L. (2012). Understanding organized crime. (2nd ed., pp. 218–220). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Barlett Learning.
  14. ^ Eways, A. July 21, 2008. "The rise of sur 13". 
  15. ^ "Effects of gang life on Main Street". Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  16. ^ Kontos, L., & Brotherton, D. (2008). Encyclopedia of gangs.(p. 65) Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
  17. ^ Del Barco, M. (26 November 2011). "Ex-L.A. Gang Member Trades Streets For Family Life". National Public Radio. 6 09 2011: 1–8. 
  18. ^ Morales, G. (2007). "Surenos". 
  19. ^ Siegel, L. J., & Welsch, B. C. (2009). Juvenile Delinquency: theory practice and the law. (10 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadesworth. Print
  20. ^ Braidhill, K.. "Where the boyz are. (Gang activity in Los Angeles metropolitan area)." StreetGangs.Com. LA Magazine, 1998. Web. 26 Nov 2011.
  21. ^ Larson, J. (July 2, 2009). "Options for combating gang activity examined". Tacoma Weekly. 
  22. ^ Altman, L. (April 15, 2008). "Female gang member charged with killing young lax worker. South Bay Crimes and Courts". 
  23. ^ Clarridge, C. (September 15, 2011). "4 arrested in connection with kent car show shooting". The News Tribune. 
  24. ^ Swenson, T. (September 30, 2011). "6 charged in kent car show shooting plead not guilty". The Highland Times. 
  25. ^ Templeman, D. (December 30, 2011). "Self-identified gang leader arrested, involved in attempted murder of rival gang member". KMTR News. 
  26. ^ Bernstein, M. (October 24, 2013). "Back-to-back killings in Gresham worry police about increased gang violence". KMTR News. 

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