SANTA MARIA, Calif.- Santa Maria Police have received an increase in complaints about prostitution in Santa Maria. It's a problem that business owners said is ruining their reputation.
"We've come across young ladies turning tricks in the parking lot, either in vehicles or up against the fences," says David Latimer, a nearby employee.
David Latimer works at Teamsters Local 986 just a few feet away from where he says he's seen women picking up clients. Latimer says the worst part is the other activity prostitution often brings with it.
"We've found syringes, we've found used condoms we've found spoons," says Latimer.
Businesses say they've seen many of these women coming in and out of motels on North Broadway.
"The girls that have been here for quite a while, we kind of recognized them, and knew them, those girls I haven't seen for a while there seems to be three new girls working the streets," says Latimer.
"The reality is part of this is also the fact that we have new people coming in the city and with that influx of people comes new influx of situations we have to deal with," says Sergeant Paul Van Meel, Santa Maria Police Department.
Santa Maria Police say they are stepping up patrols.
"Trying to make contacts with people in areas that are considered hot spots where prostitution might be occurring," says Van Meel.
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