After a recent investigation of massage parlors in the city resulted in prostitution arrests at four of them, police are asking the City Council for an ordinance regulating the parlors.
The council will consider the ordinance at its Sept. 18 meeting. If it is approved, massage parlors in Brea will have six months to be licensed, officials said.
"The purpose is to keep track of the actual human beings engaged in this business, to identify the people giving massages," City Atty. James L. Markman said.
All massage technicians would have to be licensed by the city, which would run background checks on applicants.
The proposal comes as a result of a three-month police investigation into the city's five known massage parlors, said Capt. Jim Oman, head of the investigative division. Oman said the probe found that four of the businesses were fronts for houses of prostitution.
"It was pretty obvious right away that they were being used as houses of prostitution," Oman said. "There were mattresses on the floor in one of them. They weren't very professional."
City officials are not sure how long the massage parlors have been in business, or if others exist.
"They came in unnoticed and have kept a low profile," Oman said.
Brea does not have a city ordinance regulating massage parlors, making it easy for anyone to set up such a business. Most cities in the county require massage technicians to register annually with the police department or city.
"This was fertile ground for them because there are no actual laws regulating massage parlors," Oman said.