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Prostitution crackdown in Hawthorne leads to 25 arrests

March 8, 2011 |  8:15 am

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.


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