Armed Robbers Tap Accounts of Unconscious Victims

NYPD says facial recognition was used on bar patrons
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2023 2:53 PM CST
Armed Robbers Tap Accounts of Unconscious Victims
   (Getty / Spencer_Whalen)

Robbers took thousands of dollars from three men last fall by using the facial recognition software on their phones against them, New York police reported. The victims had gone to the Eagle NYC, a gay leather bar in the Chelsea neighborhood, on different nights, per NBC News. Each lost $1,000 to $5,000 to the thieves, said police, who are investigating. Police said Thursday that the same bunch robbed two other people at another bar, Hotel Chantelle, in November and December. No arrests have been made in either case.

"What we think is happening with this scheme is they're being lured away from the club, maybe to say, 'Hey, you wanna come with me? I got some good drugs,' or something like that,'" said police Capt. Robert Gault. The victims come to at some point after agreeing to get into a car, he said, and can't remember what happened. Police said the robbers apparently used facial recognition software to get to the victims' bank accounts through their cellphones; the technology can recognize people who are unconscious. City officials urged people who patronize bars to not secure their phones with facial recognition. (More facial recognition technology stories.)

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