Dressed to kill in a black corset and sky-high stilettos that show off her legs, she calls you baby and promises to give you what you need. Hidden amid bland listings of Orange County apartment rentals, jobs, things for sale and services needed on craigslist. The trend, echoed across the country, has police trolling the virtual bulletin board, conducting prostitution stings in cyberspace instead of on the street corner.
From Costa Mesa to Anaheim, cities along the infamous Harbor Boulevard circuit have fought relentlessly against prostitutes and their customers. Now, police say, streetwalkers are trekking to Orange County from places like Seattle, Detroit and Tennessee not to stand on the street, but to post their pictures on craigslist next to garage sale listings and wait for the phone to ring and the money to roll in.
And with billions of views a month, the reach is far greater than any throwaway newspaper.
Founder Craig Newmark, who started craigslist in San Francisco inhas called it a happy accident, aimed at making it easier for people to get everyday chores done. But there is another side to craigslist, one of prostitutes, pimps and people who post for rooms, hoping to get sex instead of cash for rent. From crystal methamphetamine to an hour with a dominatrix, every fantasy or fetish can be found and delivered to your doorstep in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered — if you know the code.
In keeping with its communal approach, site operators rely on users to flag they find offensive. If enough people agree, the ad is removed.
But craigslist does have subheadings for casual encounters and erotic services, where the lists are filled with pornographic images and for drugs and sex. Drop me a line if you have any clues!
Tina and Crystal are code for heroin and crystal meth, Ginther said. Roses, kisses and other lingo are subbed for dollars in the explicitan attempt by prostitutes, according to Bailey, to sidestep the law.
Local agencies regularly patrol craigslist, making deals and arresting prostitutes. Other agencies have co-opted the site, running their own seductive that promise sex in exchange for drugs. The undercover officer takes the drugs, and the deliveryman is arrested.
But with hundreds of new posted every day in Orange County alone, local vice operations say it is impossible to keep up. Police caution that this kind of hook-up is more dangerous than the old-fashion curbside come on for both the customer and the professional. It was a blonde who showed up at the Hilton hotel in Costa Mesa last month.
Police chased him around the hotel, and paramedics had to cut him out of his outfit when he went into a panic. He was arrested.
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