MANHATTAN (PIX11) — A man has been arrested in connection with several robberies targeting nightclub patrons in Manhattan, including instances that ended with the victims suffering overdose deaths, police said on Thursday.

Kenwood Allen, 33, was charged with murder in the fatal overdose of two people, officials said. The man is allegedly part of a gang said to be responsible for dozens of robberies since March on the Lower East Side.

“We are investigating at least 26 incidents between March 18 and Dec. 8, with five possible fatal overdoses associated with this crew,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig during a briefing Thursday. “This is a violent robbery crew.” 

Allen has 17 prior arrests, most involving grand larceny and burglary, according to the NYPD. He now faces two counts of robbery and one count of assault in addition to murder charges.

“The indictment and arrest include charges for murder for the March 18 fatal overdose occurring at 147th Street [and] murder for the July 30 fatal overdose occurring at 52 Ludlow St. in Manhattan,” said Essig. 

PIX11 has reported extensively on a slew of crimes that appeared to be targeting the LGBTQ community in Manhattan, including the death of a 25-year-old social worker who was found dead inside a cab after leaving a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen in June. While these cases appear similar to the allegations against Allen, police said they do not believe they are connected.

“In this particular case, we know there are members of that community involved in it, but there are members of other communities,” said Detective Essig. “We don’t think they’re particularly targeting gay members; this is based solely on monetary gain.” 

The gang looks for easy targets late at night, finding them as they leave bars, police said. In some cases, they allegedly offer drugs. Then, either through force or once the victim is unconscious, they steal jewelry, money, high-end watches, and phones, police said.

“As far as the overdoses, we believe that our perpetrators are targeting individuals coming out of bars late at night because they’re intoxicated,” a lieutenant with Midtown South Precinct said. “They’re approaching them offering them, could be a cigarette in some cases, other cases it could have been narcotics.” 

A second person was also arrested, but police did not release a name. The investigation remained ongoing, as of Thursday.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).