|By Steve Thompson, The Dallas Morning
NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 8, 2008 - The 37-year-old Tampa executive was in town on business, staying at Victory Park's posh W hotel. Two women came onto him in the lounge.
After accepting a draft beer from the flirtatious women, the man remembers little else. When he woke up later in his room, he was missing his $4,000 Rolex watch, his wallet, his iPod and a laptop.
Dallas police say a group of several women has been targeting men in area bars and hotels. They come on strong, sometimes with sexual favors, then make off with their victims' possessions.
Several of the men met the women at the W hotel. Incidents also started at the Green Elephant in Northeast Dallas, and another at the Loon Bar & Grill on McKinney Avenue. Police say all of the businesses have cooperated in the investigation.
It appears that in a couple of cases, the women have used Mickey Finns to accomplish the thefts. After a little conversation, they slip something into his drink.
"The rest of the night is pretty much a blur," said Detective Mark Jenkins, who is on the trail of several suspects. They are women with histories as prostitutes, he said. One was in custody Thursday.
Investigators say about a half-dozen men have reported the thefts. One was in town from California, another from Arizona, another from Canada.
The women seemed to know what they were looking for; several of the victims were wearing Rolex watches.
One man lost his money while dancing in a hotel elevator. Another lost his wallet while inside a car with his pants around his ankles.
But it's not that the suspects have irresistible charm, police say.
"I don't know if so much it's that the men are being attracted to them, as that [the suspects] are more or less forcing themselves on the men," Detective Jenkins said.
Police say the women should be considered armed and dangerous. In one case, a knife was involved. And one 21-year-old Dallas man suffered a scalp wound that may have been inflicted by a high-heel shoe.
More victims could be out there.
"I think there's a very strong possibility that a lot of offenses aren't being reported," Detective Jenkins said. "It could be because they're embarrassed, or it could be because they're married."
One man contacted by phone said he'd rather not be involved and doesn't plan to press charges. He's just glad he wasn't hurt, he said.
Dallas may not be the only place where the theft ring operates, police say.
"We're checking into some possible connections out of state," Detective Jenkins said. "They may be actually jumping back and forth between Dallas and some other cities."
WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reporter Rebecca Lopez contributed to this report.
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