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Suspect In Robberies Of Gays Arrested, Returned To Massachusetts

November 14, 1987

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ A man was charged with robbing a patron of a gay bar after slipping tranquilizers into his drink and may have been involved in 20 or more similar robberies, authorities said.

Frank James Komenus, 31, was arrested Thursday night in Ledyard, Conn., after a Cambridge detective provided Connecticut authorities with enough information to get an arrest warrant, police said.

Komenus appeared in court Friday in New London, Conn., and agreed to voluntarily return to Massachusetts, said Cambridge Detective Lt. Walter Boyle.

He later pleaded innocent in Cambridge District Court to six charges stemming from a robbery in that city last month. Judge Lawrence Feloney ordered Komenus held after he failed to post $500,000 surety bail. A hearing was scheduled for Nov. 25.

He was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, robbery, two counts of larceny, kidnapping and breaking into a depository. The dangerous weapon was the drug, Boyle said. The final charge stems from Komenus’ use of an automatic teller machine after allegedly stealing the bank card of one of his victims. Cambridge police suspect Komenus in two similar robberies, Detective Lt. James Hallice said. Boston, Provincetown and Brookline police also suspect Komenus in about 20 to 25 similar crimes in during the past two years, Hallice said.

According to police, Komenus would introduce himself to men at gay bars and offer to buy them drinks. He would persuade them to take him to their homes and allegedly would slip a tranquilizer into their drinks either in the bar or shortly after arriving at the homes.

Tests on the victims detected traces of a central nervous system depressant known as benzodiazapine used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Victims began reporting the crimes after accounts of the robberies were published in a Boston weekly for gay men.

The robberies netted thousands of dollars in cash, jewelry and other items, as well as checkbooks and automatic teller machine cards, state police said.

Boyle said Komenus lived in the Charlestown section of Boston, although Connecticut authorities said his last known address was in Ledyard.