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Prostitution crackdown in Hawthorne leads to 25 arrests

Map shows the stretch of Imperial Highway 105 between Inglewood Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. Click through for more information on the area in Mapping L.A. Twenty-five people have been arrested during a crackdown on prostitution in Hawthorne over the last three weeks, police said Tuesday.

Arrested were 11 suspected prostitutes, one suspected pimp and 13 alleged “johns,” officials said.

Increased enforcement began Feb. 21 after numerous complaints from the community about illegal activity on Imperial Highway between Inglewood Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, said Lt. Gary Tomatani of the Hawthorne Police Department.

Hawthorne is seeking “stay away” orders for each of the suspected prostitutes and the pimp, prohibiting them from returning to the area.

Judges have already granted the orders on four of them, Tomatani said. The others are being processed through the courts.

Hawthorne police conducted a “john” sting Friday near Imperial and Hawthorne Boulevard, where from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. female police officers posing as prostitutes walked the sidewalks.

Motorists who propositioned the undercover officers were arrested by a police team stationed nearby.

Thirteen men, including six from Hawthorne, were taken into custody. One of the men offered drugs in exchange for sex, Tomatani said. However, the man did not have any narcotics on him.

Hawthorne police will continue their anti-prostitution operations throughout the year. Anyone with information about prostitution-related activity can call the department at (310) 349-2700.


Crime alerts for Pico-Robertson, Windsor Square and eight other L.A. neighborhoods

-- Nate Jackson

Image: Map shows the stretch of Imperial Highway between Inglewood Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. Credit: Mapping L.A.

Comments () | Archives (35)

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police should have something better to do rather than entrapping consenting adults

That's unfair

Our society should think of making prostitution legal. It's never gonna stop. Regulate it like a business...............

the policer officers in this country should have something better to do than to spend tax payers money arresting prostitute and their customers.

I feel safer already.

The "community complainers" should be forced to pay EXTRA for this type of waste of law enforcement! Its a pathetic excuse to keep "vice" squads in operation!

You can't stamp out human nature.

comments are pretty uniform - waste of money policing something that will occur anyway. Spend our tax dollars on treatment and safety instead of incarceration and providing funding gangs/drug/dealers via making illegal

Where is our so called American freedom? Men can solicite employment at Home Depot on the sidewalk or near it but women can't. Why the double standard? If women want to use their bodies for work like the rest of the world, they should be able to. Just like with abortion, it's a woman's body, government can't dictate.

Legalize prostitution, tax it, regulate it. Get it off the streets.

All of you are very short sighted. The reason prostitution sweeps are a neccessary function is because of the other types of crime linked to it, including human sex trafficking, murder (serial murderes pray on street walkers), drugs, and robbery. I hope prostitutes set up camp on all of your streets, so you can see the true effects of this crime. Congratulations to the Hawthorne Police Department for a job well done.

As usual Hawthorne police wastes tax payer money. I have been on Imperial many times and now matter what the police does the illegal activities never stop. They just do it for the press and so people forget they're not solving crimes.

Hey Hawthorne Police:

Why don't you "get a set" and stamp out the gang problem here once and for all. Is it because pimps,prostitutes, and johns don't fire back when getting arrested? Such bravery!

I used to live near Prarie and Imperial Highway in the early 70's and I remember the hookers used the motel near Osage and Imperial. The 105 freeway knock down the whole nasty neighborhood.

Imperial has been a haven for prostitutes for at least the last 45 years, when I was a kid. If you recall, recently there have been several high profile murders in that city, including a husband and wife killed, buried in their backyard, and the house turned into a crack house. Hawthorne has enough real criminals and don't need stings to create criminals.

How many unsolved homicides are on the books in Hawthorne? How about unsolved assaults, robberies, other violent crimes? And yet the police mount a big operation to arrest people for...sex. Ooohhh! Way to go, Hawthorne cops! Way to get tough on crime! Most likely, half the police squad are seeing hookers in their off-hours anyway.

It's your law enforcement using the local population as a means to justify their employment. During ' slow ' times. Your people are doing ' normal ' things, and ' the authorities ' make a living, imprisoning, and processing you. While some of your larger, more sophisticated criminals get away with the $booty$. See you soooon.

Any cops arrested in this sting? Ohy yeah they flashed thier badge and got to walk!

If you're not going to make prostitution legal at least make it possible for these women to get help and protection from the police when they're beaten/abused/raped/forced to do drugs, etc. A great many of the problems associated with prostitution are a direct consequence of its illegality. Most of the prostitutes aren't doing it because they have a great life. They deserve some sympathy and at least a modicum of police protection.

"Waste of money policing something that will occur anyway"..............So true!

Too bad that the Hawthorne prostitution sweep did not take place earlier, in Bell!

They act in YOUR name!

OMG!!! I can't believe the comments on this write up. I am actually glad that the police have decided to do something about this problem. I live very close to Imperial, near York, Oxford, Freeman, Cedar and all the other streets between Prairie and Hawthorne. It is ashame that so many women are out there selling their bodies on the streets like that. I don't wanna see that mess when I drive up from work or when I take my children to school. Maybe the perverted men in Hawthorne like it, but I am disgusted with it.... So HPD, Many thanks... Keep up the good work.

@Ed P. Re-read the comments. Some are saying that if you legalize it, it leaves the criminal realm. These women wouldn't have to be on the streets and if they could feel confident in calling the Police without fear of being prosecuted for prostitution. Legalizing works, just take a look at places where it is legal, those elements you are so worried about are not an issue.

This is yet another example of government totally out of control. They are turning "victims" of a "victimless crime" into wards of the state instead of taxpayers! If they pay their taxes, who gives a poop what they are doing as long as it doesn't hurt an innocent bystander - and it doesn't! Yet another example of why the leftist/liberal vision of a socialist government is a disaster. Get a life!

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