Local police who have been warning the public about the rise of date-rape drugging at bars are now telling people to avoid using vapes from strangers.
Barnstable Police are reporting that perpetrators are now possibly slipping date rape drugs into altered vape cartridges, and then offering the vapes to victims at bars.
“Based on this new information the Department is urging individuals that are gathering in social settings to not only keep a close watch on their beverages, but to also avoid sharing or using ‘vape’ cartridges from unknown people,” police said in a statement.
Barnstable Police last month had said the department was receiving reports of bar patrons feeling the effects of possible date rape drugs.
The Cape Cod police department, along with Boston Police, warned patrons of bars and clubs about the dangerousness of scentless, colorless and tasteless drugs such as Rohypnol, also known as roofies, being placed in the drinks of unsuspecting victims. Other drugs commonly used in a similar fashion are GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) or Ketamine.
Now this week, Barnstable Police said it has received another report of possible date-rape drugging at a local bar.
“Although there have been no assaults reported at this time, members of the Barnstable Police Department have been actively investigating these incidents,” police said. “As a result of the ongoing investigation, information has been developed that the method of ingestion of these drugs may not just be drinks, it is possible that the substance is being delivered via altered ‘vape’ cartridges.”
A spokesman for Boston Police on Wednesday said the department has not received reports of spiked vape cartidges.
“We continue to urge people that if they believe they are a victim of this (date-rape drugging), to contact police immediately,” said Boston Police Sgt. Detective John Boyle.
Precautions that people should take while out at bars and clubs include watching your drink at all times and never leaving your drink unattended. Take your drink with you to the restroom if need be, according to police.
“Keep your hand covered over your drink when you’re not looking at it,” police said. “Many creative inventions exist that can help you cover your drink.”
Patrons should make sure that their drink is being served directly by the bartender or their server.
People can test their drink with test strips or nail polish that will light up a certain color if drugs are detected.
Barnstable Police are urging people with any information regarding individuals or establishments selling or distributing altered vape cartridges to contact Detective Andrew Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Detective Spencer Jackson at email@example.com, or the Barnstable Police Detective Unit at 508-778-3820.