LOWER EAST SIDE — A group of thieves has been robbing drunken revelers by befriending their marks and pilfering their pockets when they pass out or by simply asking them to hand over their goods, police said.
First, a 25-year old man got into an Uber near Essex and Stanton streets carrying three other men, who asked if he wanted to go to a strip club with them just after midnight on Sept. 9, police said.
The victim declined, but then passed out drunk, only to come to about 4 a.m. and find his belongings missing and mystery charges on his debit and credit cards, police said.
At about 2 a.m. that same morning, a 25-year-old man brought two new friends, who police believe are tied to the other robbery, back to his room at the Hotel on Rivington to hang out, police said.
The victim fell asleep and woke up at 9:30 a.m. to find the men gone, along with his laptop and iPhone, police said. Hotel management called the Seventh Precinct stationhouse to report the theft, police said.
The general manager of Hotel on Rivington did not return a request for comment.
Then, on Sept. 16 around 2 a.m., a group of three men befriended a highly intoxicated 23-year-old man from Boston as he left Hair of the Dog at 168 Orchard St. near Stanton Street, police said.
As they all walked down Orchard Street, one of the men asked the victim for his phone so he could store his contact information in it, police said.
The victim handed it over, but was then was distracted by the other two men, who asked him for his wallet, which he also gave them, police said.
Later, the man noticed his debit and credit cards had been taken, according to a police report. He never got his phone back.
The victim told police the suspects hopped in a car after the theft, but he couldn't remember where he last saw them before they fled.
In the most recent incident, on Sept. 24, a 28-year-old man met another man at Hair of the Dog before getting into a taxi with him to go to another bar around 4 a.m., according to authorities.
At some point during the ride, the man asked for the victim's cellphone and wallet, which he handed over willingly, police said. The victim later realized his four credit cards were missing and his cellphone was never given back, police said.
He also noticed his cards had also been used after the theft, police said.
A spokeswoman for Hair of the Dog did not return a request for comment.
The victims could only provide vague descriptions of the suspects, police said. One was described as about 25, standing at 5-foot-7 and weighing 170 pounds, while the other two were described as standing 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2. One of the suspects also goes by Dominick.
Police believe it is the same group of men involved in all the incidents and are investigating them as a grand larceny pattern.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).