SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif.- More than two dozen people were arrested in a major undercover prostitution bust in San Luis Obispo County. This comes months after several violent crimes were linked to prostitution.
"So we do this in two different ways. We either have one of our officers who poses as one of the "Johns" and asks prostitutes who responds to the hotel, or we do it the other way where we have one of our officers pose as a prostitute and "Johns" come to the hotel. What they will do is they will negotiate a transaction for sex for money and that's when the violation occurs," said Captain Christopher Staley, San Luis Obispo Police Department.
San Luis Obispo Police, Arroyo Grande Police and Pismo Beach Police teamed up to conduct the sting, which started Tuesday and ended Thursday evening, in an effort to crackdown on any illegal activity.
A series of violent crimes dating back from 2011 tipped officers about the prostitution problem. Where in many cases victims were being beaten and robbed inside hotel rooms that were being rented for the purpose of prostitution. San Luis Obispo Police say many times, the victims won't report the crime for fear they may be prosecuted for selling sex.
"They had similar circumstances down in Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach and we decided to do a joint operation to address the issue," said Staley.
Investigators say many of the suspects caught were advertising their services online.
"Often times there are websites that cater to this type of activity and our officers will actually check those websites for that type of activity in the local area," said Staley.
San Luis Obispo Police have recognized prostitution as an issue in the community and are planning more sting operations.
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