Authorities in New York City are investigating after three men who visited the Chelsea gay leather bar The Eagle NYC had thousands of dollars stolen from them after suspects gained access to their phones after incapacitating them.
New York Police confirmed to NBC News on Thursday that the men, who they said were in their 30s and 40s, went to The Eagle NYC on separate nights in the fall where they were then targeted.
The robbers were able to get between $1,000 to $5,000 from each of the victims.
“What we think is happening with this scheme is they’re being lured away from the club, maybe to say, ‘Hey, you wanna come with me? I got some good drugs,’ or something like that,’” Capt. Robert Gault from the 10th Precinct in New York said at a police community council meeting, NBC News reports. “And then, once they get into a car to do whatever it is that they’re going to do, at some point or another, they don’t know what happened when they wake up.”
The same suspects also targeted a young woman and a middle-aged man at the Hotel Chantelle, according to a spokesperson for the New York Police Department.
They did not elaborate on how authorities connected to the incidents. However, authorities have been able to identify vehicles of interest in the case as well as a phone number linked to one of the suspects involved at The Eagle NYC.
As NBC notes, the cases are similar to the robberies that resulted in the deaths of Julio Ramirez, 25, and John Umberger, 33. The two men were last seen leaving gay bars in the city with several men before having their bank accounts cleared.