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Frank Lomas was having trouble selling scooters at his Honda dealership on El Cajon Boulevard because prostitutes and pimps intimidated potential customers. His female employees weathered catcalls daily on their way to work. It was very detrimental to my business.
But after a police sweep last weekend, prostitutes are more often followed by a patrol car than a suitor. The latest police crackdown is geared to attack a problem which has plagued the boulevard since the late s after police drove massage parlors and prostitution rings out of downtown. Ron Seden. The weekend : police inquiries, 3 felony arrests, 38 misdemeanor arrests, and traffic citations and warnings.
Prostitutes are now fleeing to lower Rosecrans Street, the Gaslamp District or out of the city, police say. Bob Jones. There are a lot of spinoffs. In the last six months, 51 armed robberies have occurred between the block and block of El Cajon Boulevard.
Prostitutes like El Cajon Boulevard because of its many late-night businesses, hotels and parking lots and because it is less densely populated than downtown, police said. Seden said many prostitutes are from out of state.
They come to San Diego in search of warmer weather or to escape police crackdowns in places like Vancouver or Seattle. To establish a high-visibility presence, police are concentrating on issuing citations for minor offenses like jaywalking and littering, in addition to felony offenses such as prostitution, pimping and pandering.
Street merchants say the crackdown is paying off, at least for now.
Most merchants and residents are pleased about the change, although the parade of police cars sometimes makes customers at Dookies Restaurant a little nervous, according to a bartender there. Jack Barrell, pastor of East San Diego Presbyterian Church, located a short distance from El Cajon Boulevard at 52nd Street and Orange Avenue, said prostitution and narcotics transactions used to be visible at all hours in the church parking lot.
But merchants who have watched the street for a few years are quick to point out that a similar cleanup effort in was only partially successful.
Police say the visible displays of prostitution cannot be ignored. Mike Lodge. Our intention is not to eliminate prostitutes, but to put them out of business. But some merchants expect the relief to be only temporary. All Sections.
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Police see an increase in street prostitution after classified ad website seized