47 Held in Beach Blvd. Prostitution Sweep

Responding to complaints about the prostitution activity on Beach Boulevard, police arrested 45 men last weekend for soliciting undercover female officers from Anaheim and Orange police departments.

Two women were arrested on prostitution charges.

One of the male suspects was in possession of a loaded firearm and another male was a juvenile, police said.

Vehicles were towed and impounded, police said.

The Police Department's vice detail conducted the sweep March 21 at two locations on Beach Boulevard.

West Anaheim residents have complained about men taking prostitutes into neighborhoods adjacent to Beach Boulevard, where residents commonly find condoms in the streets, Lt. Jim Flammini said.

Flammini said while the department's aim is to rid the area of prostitutes, targeting men discourages customers.

"We're trying to get the word out that it's a dangerous thing to do not only from a criminal standpoint, but from a health standpoint. We do run across females that are carrying the AIDS virus," Flammini said.

For years, Beach Boulevard has attracted prostitutes, many from out of state.

"We're not going to eradicate the problem," Flammini said, "but we're getting better control of it."

On a first offense, suspects charged with solicitation face up to a $500 fine plus other penalties, Flammini said, and repeat offenders could get jail time.

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