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Long Beach : Proposal to Confiscate Cars of Prostitutes’ Clients Heard

Clients of prostitutes may begin losing automobiles under a proposal being considered by the City Council to combat vice along Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to consider the legal and logistical problems of confiscating the cars of those convicted of soliciting prostitutes. The council also wants to have the customers’ names published in the local newspaper. Public and donated funds would pay for advertisements and other costs associated with the plan.

Although police already confiscate the automobiles of convicted drug dealers and users, taking cars from prostitutes’ customers may prove more difficult, warned Robert Shannon, assistant city attorney. The law requires that the city prove the car was an instrumental part of the crime, he said. “In some circumstances, yes, there’s a case,” he said. “Most of the time, though, they’re unable to make the case.”

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After studying a similar proposal recently enacted by the city of Riverside, Long Beach officials will report back to the City Council in three weeks with further recommendations.


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