Men in upscale Atlanta neighborhood warned about druggings, robberies near bars

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Young men in Atlanta have reported being drugged and robbed while out in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead neighborhood between 2021 and February of this year, according to police records and national reports.

Now, police are warning people who spend time out in Atlanta to take precautions, such as staying together with friends, paying “close attention” to drinks, reporting any tampering to drinks, being aware of one’s surroundings, protecting banking apps with passwords and so on.

“The Atlanta Police Department is aware of these cases and is investigating each. Investigators routinely look for connections to similar, nearby cases as well as for any possible connection to potential cases throughout our jurisdiction and in surrounding areas,” Atlanta Police Department (APD) spokesperson Teralyn Griffin told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

Griffin added that while the department is “not at a point of releasing details on each of these investigations,” authorities take the allegations “seriously,” and “investigators are committed to finding who is responsible and apprehending them.”

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Luxury homes in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta police are warning of recent robbery incidents in the city’s affluent Buckhead neighborhood. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg)

Four Atlanta Police Department reports obtained by Fox News Digital detail victims’ accounts of losing their memory, possibly due to spiked drinks, before being robbed.

Most recently, on Feb. 8, a robbery victim told police that on Feb. 4, he “was hanging out at Bar Thirty with his brother and his friend,” when they left and he “decided to stay a little longer.” The victim “remembered ordering his last drink” around 2 a.m. but does not remember what happened between then and 3 a.m., a police report states.

The victim told police that when he “came to his senses,” he was standing outside an apartment complex, and his phone and wallet were missing. The next day, he got a replacement phone and received “multiple notifications from CashApp” saying $700 had been withdrawn from his account, and there was a notification for an attempted purchase of over $4,000 worth of Bitcoin from his Venmo account.

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A shopping center in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia

More than 20 police reports obtained by Fox News Digital detail alleged robbery incidents in which victims were drugged or distracted upon getting into rideshare vehicles before victims stole their phones, wallets and more. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg)

That same day, on Feb. 5, police spoke with another robbery victim who similarly said that while he was at the “5 Paces Inn Bar he was possibly drugged and robbed,” according to another police report.

“The victim stated he was with friends at the above location and was unsure how he got separated. The victim stated he did not have a lot to drink,” the police report says. “The victim stated he thinks he was possibly struck with a firearm and was knocked unconscious. The victim stated that when he came to, he was bleeding from the left eye.”

The victim contacted his mother for a ride home. The next morning, when he activated a spare phone, he saw notifications that the suspect in his robbery allegedly sent himself $1,600 from CashApp and withdrew another $500 from the victim’s Truist bank account even without knowing his pin number.

In September 2022, a victim reported that on Aug. 28, 2023, “he believed that he could have been drugged because he didn’t remember anything between 1:00am and 3:40am when he woke up at the Chevron gas station at 3465 Northside Pkwy,” a third incident report states. 

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Atlanta Police Department

An APD spokesperson said “investigators are committed to finding who is responsible and apprehending” suspects in a recent string of Buckhead robberies. (Getty Images)

The victim “said that when he woke up at the location, he did not have his credit cards on his person” and “later found out that someone had used his Wells Fargo credit card and ATM card to make fraudulent purchases.”

Lastly, on April 25, 2022, one victim told police that he had attended a business dinner on April 14 and “advised that he was drinking but not heavily” when “he started getting dizzy.”

The victim said his “memory went blank,” but he did remember being dropped off at a RaceTrac gas station “by two black women at 780 Peachtree Pkwy Norcross, GA 30092 with no phone and a missing credit card.” The victim said he saw that he had a canceled Uber ride receipt around 12:20 a.m. on April 15. 

On April 26, the same victim noticed that a total of $18,000 was gone from two of his bank accounts.

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Buildings in the downtown Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia

Young men have reported being drugged and robbed after going out in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg)

NBC News, which initially covered the string of alleged drugging and robbing incidents in Buckhead, reported that there may be as many as eight victims with similar stories stemming from nights out in Buckhead. The outlet spoke to six of those men in total who had similar experiences – five of whom said they were driven around Atlanta before coming to.

Chandler Rebel, the 24-year-old victim who was robbed and dropped off at a gas station in August, told NBC about his experience having drinks with friends one minute and then waking up in the backseat of a vehicle with no recollection of how he got there. He remembered being restrained.

“I just remember everything was black in there, trying to scream, but it was like a hand was over me, forcing more of that substance down my mouth,” Rebel told the outlet.

He said he woke up several hours later at a gas station about three miles from the bar, where he began “violently” throwing up blood, according to NBC.

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atlanta cops at a buckhead crime scene

Atlanta police officers respond to a call from a Target in Buckhead. (Fox 5 DC/WAGA)

In the more than 20 police reports filed between 2021 and March obtained by Fox News Digital, there are a string of other robbery incidents that do not involve drugging but do involve victims being distracted when getting into rideshare vehicles and then being robbed and dumped at random locations by drivers posing as Uber or Lyft.

Many of the robbery incidents happened at or outside the same bars, including 5 Paces Inn, Johnny’s Hideaway, Thirty and The Ivy Buckhead.

A 5 Paces spokesperson told NBC that the bar takes its customers’ safety concerns seriously and encouraged those who feel they may have been victimized by a crime to contact police.

“Five Paces is aware of reports of criminal activity occurring in and around Buckhead but is not aware of any criminal activities taking place within Five Paces,” spokesperson Scott A. Minot told the outlet in an email. “Five Paces has not been contacted by any alleged victims or the police and has no additional information or knowledge about any of these incidents or reports.”

Atlanta police

So far, one person has been apprehended in connection with the robbery incidents in Buckhead, APD spokesperson Teralyn Griffin said in a statement. (Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage)

Johnny’s Hideaway similarly told NBC that police did not contact them after the alleged robberies that occurred in and outside the establishment.

Several victims told NBC that despite providing screenshots and various other information to authorities, they feel the Atlanta police have brushed off their reports.

“I literally gave the police department every single piece of the puzzle, and they could care less,” victim Shawn Brown told the outlet.

So far, one person has been apprehended in connection with the robbery incidents in Buckhead, APD spokesperson Griffin said in a statement.

“These kinds of crimes do pose some challenges to investigators,” Griffin said. “Sometimes the trail to identifying a suspect is an easy one, but many times it requires significant work to properly determine who the suspect is. We understand the frustrations of some victims, but we are actively investigating and working to identify anyone involved in these crimes.”

The spokesperson added that the area where the alleged drugging and robberies have occurred “is one where patrols are increased and many nearby businesses employ off-duty officers at their business to help deter crime.”

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“With many of these incidents occurring inside a crowded establishment, or without the victim initially being aware, it is a challenge for law enforcement alone to address these thefts before they occur,” Griffin said. “We will do our part, but we urge anyone planning to spend time out drinking to have a plan and stick with it. It is important to take charge of your experience and take steps to ensure you do not become the victim of a crime.”