03/17/2012 06:07 pm ET Updated May 17, 2012

Castro Crimes Against Gay Men On The Rise In San Francisco: Police

This article comes to us courtesy of SF Weekly's The Snitch.

By Erin Sherbert

San Francisco police are asking gay men in the Castro to be a little more judicious about who they take home from the bar after a night of drinking.

It seems there have been too many instances laltely in which older gay men are being targeted by (straight) criminals who are coming into gay bars, flirting with men, and then robbing them after they take them home.

Sgt. Chuck Limbert, the LGBT liaison for the Mission District, tells us that one victim recently called him to report an incident where he was drinking at a Castro bar when a really good-looking man walked in and bought him a drink. The two began talking and after some time, the hottie suggested they go home together, Limbert said.

"[The victim] said he wasn't making good decisions, that his vision was blurry and he didn't know what was going on," Limbert said. The two went to the victim's apartment, where he started vomiting. When he came out of the bathroom, the suspect grabbed the man's computer and demanded the victim's password. When the man refused to give it to him, the suspect hit him, and the victim ran out of the apartment, screaming.

Limbert said after that call, he was in the Castro off-duty, when other gay men approached him, telling him they, too, had been victims of similar crimes. "They would say 'I took someone home and passed out and woke up and my credit cards were gone,' and another said he went home with someone and woke up and his entire wallet was missing," Limbert said.

As a gay man and resident of the Castro himself, Limbert decided to alert the community of these nefarious crimes, none of which are happening at any particular bar. He met with a local merchants group and offered tips to help stop gay men from becoming victims.

Bartenders and businesses should be mindful of those who have clearly had too much to drink; hail them a cab, or at the very least ask them if they are okay. Patrons should also be aware of who they are mingling with -- ask to see someone's ID before you take them home, and if you can, jot down their driver's license number before you two go home together, Limbert said.

"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 said. "People don't want to be perceived as being that naive."

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