San Rafael police arrested five local men and one man from Novato, after they allegedly solicited sex from an undercover police officer on Friday, according to police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher.
The prostitution sting, which lasted for three hours and began at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, targeted those suspected of paying for sexual acts in the Canal neighborhood. Recent prostitution arrests in the area and prompted the sting, Rorhbacher said.
Prostitutes in San Rafael tend to walk along streets close to hotels where they could bring their johns, such as Medway Road, Francisco Boulevard, Belvedere Street and Vivian Way. For Friday’s sting, a female police officer stood near the 7-Eleven on Medway and waited for men to approach her. After a man propositioned her, she sent him to a hotel room where officers were waiting.
The men arrested were Juan Casia, 24; Jose colli-Carbajal, 27; Rene Ucan, 39;
Osmin constanza Puac, 28; Juan Calel Chan, 18, all from San Rafael and Avelino Mejia Vasquez, 43, from Novato.
The sting is meant to crack down on the potential violence prostitution can bring to the city, according to Rorhbacher.
Last week, police arrested David Ward, a 32-year-old Santa Rosa parolee, in the parking lot of on Vivian Way for possession of a stolen loaded handgun. Ward was also suspected of pimping a 19-year-old female from Fairfield.
The usually conducts stings where male police officers wait for prostitutes to solicit them. Females going undercover is considered high risk, since men have tried to pull the officer into their cars after they proposition, Rorhbacher said.
“The goal is to educate the public and those who will come to the area for the purpose of prostitution-related crimes that there is zero tolerance for this in our city,” she said in a release. “Both the prostitutes and their customers will be arrested.”
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