Police crack down on prostitution in Burbank


Lolita Harper

BURBANK -- The term “undercover” takes on a whole new meaning when the

only thing covering a police officer is a towel.

Over the past month, Burbank vice squad officers have made a

concentrated effort to crack down on prostitution in Burbank by targeting

businesses that advertise “personal massages” on the Internet or in

magazines, Burbank Police Sgt. John Dilibert said.

While posing as customers, officers investigated whether the masseuses

offered sex in addition to rubdowns, police said.

The work has its risk, though, Dilibert said. “You don’t know what

you’re dealing with, and you definitely can’t carry a gun.”

Three women have been arrested on suspicion of prostitution in the

past month. Donna Agnew, 45, was arrested in the 2600 block of West Clark

Street, Burbank; Palma Masters, 43, in the 300 block of North California

Street, Burbank; and Nancy Durrant, 37, in the 2000 block of Glenwood

Avenue, Glendale, police said. All three were arrested at private

residences. Dilibert said the women allegedly advertised private

massages, then offered officers sexual favors for a price.

Although prostitution is only a misdemeanor, Burbank police think it

poses a considerable threat to the community, the family structure and

public health, especially with the increase in the spread of sexually

transmitted diseases, Dilibert said.

“People say it’s a victimless crime,” he said. “Tell that to the

families of these guys who are doing it.”