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News Release

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Media Relations

Vice Sting Nets 19 JOHNS for Soliciting Undercover Cops NR13415pv

Los Angeles:  The Vice Unit of the LAPD’s Mission Police Station conducted a sting operation on
August 22, 2013, targeting men who solicit women for prostitution along the Sepulveda Corridor in North Hills.  The four-hour operation resulted in the arrest of 19 men, mostly locals, for soliciting undercover female vice officers for sex in exchange for money.

The sting focused on two local San Fernando Valley motels in the 8500 block of Sepulveda Boulevard.

“The motels can act as a magnet for crime, but we’re lucky to have cooperative motel proprietors who are partners with us in weeding out the criminal element,” said Captain Todd Chamberlain, commanding officer of the Mission Police Station.  “Most of these men are not criminals, per se, but their willingness to solicit prostitutes is what keeps the vice activity and its related crimes here.”

Patrol officers, narcotics investigators, and gang officers regularly patrol these many motels, from Roscoe Boulevard, north to Devonshire Street, routinely finding criminal activity.  “Stolen cars and stolen loot from stores and homes are common, as well as parolees,” explained Capt. Chamberlain.  “While the motels are a legitimate business, we want to discourage any and all illicit activity, as do the owners.”

Targeting the Johns for arrest, rather than the prostitutes, is just another way to discourage a bad element from hanging out along the Sepulveda Corridor, which lies adjacent to a large residential neighborhood.

Arrestee’s ages ranged from 19 years to 38 years.  The majority was from Panorama City, North Hills and, Van Nuys, while one each traveled from Palmdale, Sherman Oaks, San Bernardino, and Encino.  Seven men claimed to be unemployed, and the remainder came from blue-collar jobs like construction, auto repair, and carpentry. The charge was 647(b) PC, a misdemeanor crime for soliciting prostitution.

“We’re publicizing this to discourage vice activity by reducing the demand,” Capt. Chamberlain added.  “For other men thinking of coming here, be warned:  this time, these men were just JOHNs, but next time we may up the ante by releasing the real names of the JOHNs arrested.”

Anyone wishing to report a crime may remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.