Nationwide String of Drug-and-Rob Cases Reported
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Hundreds of businessmen lured to hotel rooms by women have been drugged and robbed in a wave of similar cases in at least 10 U.S. cities, police say.
The crimes are similar - prostitutes make a pass in a bar, then slip knockout drops into drinks in the victim’s hotel room - but they don’t appear to be part of an organized ring, said Jim Kaminsky, a vice investigator in suburban Newport Beach.
″It is a set of circumstances that seems to be catching on in certain metropolitan areas,″ he said Tuesday. ″It is not organized. It is not actually a ring by one person sitting somewhere and plotting these crimes.″
Hundreds of the knockout thefts involving women preying on out-of-town executives have been reported in New York, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Phoenix, investigators said.
″It’s occurring nationally,″ said Los Angeles vice Detective Alan Vanderpool. ″Guys used to give the Mickey (Finn knockout drops) to the girls for sex. Now its the reverse, but it’s not for sex, it’s for money.″
Many cases may go unreported because victims are married or embarrassed, officers said.
″A lot of this goes unreported, for obvious reasons,″ Kaminsky said. ″We can’t be sure of the number of victims. It is usual in any kind of protitution case or case like this that victims don’t come forward.″
More than 100 cases have been reported in Houston in the past two years, 30 have been reported in Dallas during the past eight months and 45 have occurred in Los Angeles, Kaminsky said.