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New York City suspect in gay bar robberies, druggings indicted on charges of grand larceny and identity theft

New York City officials are releasing more information about a suspect who prosecutors say is connected to a string of incidents in which gay men allegedly drugged at bars and left with massive unauthorized bank account withdrawals.

According to prosecutors, Shane Hoskins is connected to a group that would drug and rob men who would visit gay bars in the city, investigators said, which resulted in two fatal overdoses. 

John Umberger, who died in May in Manhattan after going out to a gay bar. (Photo provided by Linda Clary)
Julio Ramirez was discovered dead in the back of a cab in Manhattan in April. 
(Fox 5/Linda Clary )

NEW YORK CITY GAY COMMUNITY ON HIGH ALERT AFTER STRING OF ALLEGED DRUGGINGS, ROBBERIES AND AT LEAST TWO DEATHS

Hoskins faces charges that include robbery and identity theft in connection to the fatal drugging in May 2022. His bail was set at around $50,000, according to FOX 5 New York.

Last year, at least two other gay men were discovered dead with suspicious bank withdrawals, according to family members who are sounding the alarm on their deaths.

 “Word needs to get out, especially in the gay community, that they are targeting gay men. … This same group of killers have drugged, robbed and murdered countless young gay men in New York.”

— Linda Clary

“I can’t be quiet anymore,” Linda Clary, the mother of John Umberger who died in May, told the New York Post in January 2022. “Word needs to get out, especially in the gay community, that they are targeting gay men. … This same group of killers have drugged, robbed and murdered countless young gay men in New York.”

John Umberger, who died in May in Manhattan after going out to a gay bar.

John Umberger, who died in May in Manhattan after going out to a gay bar. (Linda Clary/Fox 5)

“It’s the worst thing ever. John, not only was my firstborn, he was my confidant. He was an advisor. He was an encourager.” Clary told FOX 5.

Umberger, 33, was discovered dead in an Upper East Side townhouse in May after he left the gay club, The Q NYC, in Hell’s Kitchen with a group of other men. 

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Umberger’s phone and credit cards were stolen and more than $25,000 was drained from his bank account.

Julio Ramirez was discovered dead in the back of a cab in Manhattan in April. 

Julio Ramirez was discovered dead in the back of a cab in Manhattan in April.  (Fox 5 )

Just a month earlier, another man named Julio Ramirez, 25, died in the back of a cab after leaving a gay bar with a group of men just blocks from where Umberger had spent the evening before his death.

Ramirez’s phone and credit cards were gone and about $20,000 was missing from his accounts.

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Clary said since her son’s tragic death, several parents have reached out to her to say their own son had a similar experience, but lived.

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