Gay men targeted by attractive (criminal) strangers in SF's historic Castro

Sun. March 18, 2012 10:24 PM by News Staff

San Francisco - San Francisco police are warning gay men in the city's LGBT Castro district to be careful when picking up attractive, young strangers in bars.

KTVU reported that victims -- who are mostly middle-aged -- have found themselves attacked or drugged once they've brought the young men home. One man's computer passwords were stolen. Another woke up and realized his credit cards were gone.

"I don't think it's a team or a specific individual," San Francisco Police Sgt. Chuck Limbert told the TV station. "I think it is a crime of opportunity."

Limbert, who is the LGBT liason to the neighborhood, said there have only been a handful of official reports of crimes, but he hears about a lot of similar, unreported incidents when he's in the community.

"I think this has been going on but for a long time, but it's not being reported, because there's a perceived embarrassment associated with it," Limbert told the SF Weekly. "People don't want to be perceived as being that naive."

He suggests asking a stranger to look at their driver's license and texting that number to a friend before you leave a bar. He's also asking bartenders to be more proactive if they see someone putting the moves on someone who's had too much to drink.