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Sauntering across the dirty sidewalk, the woman with the short skirt and purple spike-heeled pumps approached a waiting car. She leaned into the open window, shifting her weight from one foot to the other, her skirt twitching toward the traffic on Pacific Coast Highway.
She slipped into the passenger seat, apparently unaware of the glaring disapproval of two people watching a few feet away. They made her take notice. Although Cangro exaggerated, his remark had the desired effect. The woman in the purple heels got out of the car and flounced away. Cangro smiled with satisfaction. One more streetwalker and a potential customer had been notified that they will no longer be accepted as an inevitable piece of the Long Beach terrain.
For decades, prostitutes have been working along this busy block corridor of Pacific Coast Highway. Streets bear s of their commerce. Condoms sprout like weeds from gutters and cracks in the sidewalk. Nearby residents are confronted with open sex acts being performed in cars parked a few feet from their front doors. Neighbors have organized themselves, staging anti-prostitution marches and setting up citizen foot patrols to confront the hookers.
Andrews and Cangro, who live near the highway, have been two of the most active agents of that groundswell, enlisting members of their Wrigley Neighborhood Assn. Members of the association show up in court en masse during the arraignment of prostitutes and customers to serve notice that they want harsh sentences.
The group met with City Councilwoman Doris Topsy-Elvord, who then suggested the city put up s along major streets warning that soliciting sex for cash is a crime. The association helped persuade The Long Beach Press-Telegram to begin publishing names of convicted johns. The group also has suggested the city paint all PCH curbs in the area red to keep customers from stopping--a suggestion that police and staff said was not feasible for such a busy commercial strip. Law enforcement officials say they have little hope, however, that these tactics will actually rid the highway area of hookers.
The practice is too entrenched, police and prosecutors say. Vander Lans. Undaunted by such official pessimism, the Wrigley team patrols Pacific Coast Highway about one weekend evening a month, looking for hookers to chase off the streets. The group spots a woman believed to be a prostitute, then follows her. If a car stops for her, they take pictures of the car, write down the and, if possible, confront the driver.
Both the woman and potential customer are told they will be turned in to police. Most streetwalkers, Cangro says, are easily intimidated. Others say residents are simply more aware of the problem. Carl says he is tired of beginning and ending his workday picking up condoms and drug paraphernalia in his parking lot. He sees hollow-eyed women addicts stumbling across his property. They attract drug dealers, gang members and petty thieves.
Most of the women who are arrested have hypodermic track marks and open sores, indicative of crack cocaine smokers, Robertson said. Most freely admit to their habits. Convicted hookers and johns must submit to a confidential HIV test as part of their sentence.
About once a month, female officers pose as hookers and arrest suspected johns. In , there were 1, prostitution-related arrests in Long Beach, up from in , the first year that police kept separate statistics on such arrests. Most of the women Robertson arrests spend less than two weeks in jail, he said. They go back to the streets and he arrests them again. Even with the big jump in prostitution arrests, his team never runs out of hookers and johns to bust. This was said mostly for the benefit of two new patrol members, George and Patricia Busby, who looked nervous underneath their matching black and gold National Rifle Assn.
No one carries a weapon. He persuaded the woman to put the gun down and walk away. Stick together. They first caught sight of the woman in a short black skirt and tank top embracing a man in an alley beside the El Capitan Motel. The group stopped, and someone snapped a few pictures. The woman came charging toward the group. The Wrigley association patrol simply looked at her. The woman, who gave her name as Lu-Lu May Dubonnette, was steamed. An admitted prostitute, Dubonnette has a room at the El Capitan.
Why should we kick her out? Within two hours, the group confronted four other women. Unlike Dubonnette, they all hurried away. What Robertson and his team would really like, he said, are harsher sentences for prostitution-related crimes. At least then, they say, the hookers would be off the streets longer between arrests. A third-time offender can be sentenced between 90 days and one year in jail. When the jails are overcrowded, as they are so often in Los Angeles County, hookers and johns are usually the first offenders set free, largely due to the perception that prostitution is a victimless crime, vice officers complain.
Police have been given other tools by the state Legislature, but officers complain that the new laws rarely help. But that law requires at least six months of investigations and paperwork to prove that owners and managers knowingly allow prostitution, Robertson said. A new law, passed by state lawmakers last year, allowed San Diego County and the city of Oakland to begin a five-year pilot program where the courts could take the vehicle of a customer who had been caught in his car, twice in the same year, with a prostitute.
After meeting with the Wrigley group this year, state Assemblywoman Juanita M. The bill is in a Senate committee. But the local vice squad has little hope this law would help. The problem is, johns are rarely caught in their cars, Robertson said. Most often, they are arrested by undercover female officers in motel rooms. The pilot program went into effect Jan. And everybody has to look at it.
All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries. Hot Property. Times Events. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Police and other experts doubt that prostitution can ever be stamped out there.
But now one organized neighborhood group is.Where to find hookers Long beach
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