Everett police turn to Craigslist to crack down on prostitution

Everett police turn to Craigslist to crack down on prostitution »Play Video
EVERETT, Wash. - Wednesday night Everett Police arrested several more suspected prostitutes by using the on-line marketplace craigslist.com.

Earlier this year, responding to citizen complaints, police discovered that the site most often used as portal for anyone to sell anything on-line has become a popular selling vehicle for the world's oldest profession.

Now it has become part of the Everett vice detective's everyday tools for finding and arresting prostitutes. The ads are on Craigslist by the thousands. Listed under "erotic services," listed by city, listed by county -- you can find anything, anyone, and any sexual service you might want.

So officers merely answer the explicit ads the ladies have placed on-line, set up a meeting, and arrest them once an offer of sex-for-money is made.

The first arrest during Wednesday's operation came just after 4 p.m.

"We're trying to raise the level of awareness even amongst the girls we're arresting tonight," said Lt. Dan Templeman. "And trying to educate them on the dangers of what's going on out there and strongly discourage them from engaging in this kind of behavior in the future."

A danger highlighted by their fourth arrest of the night: a 16-year-old girl.

"We conduct prostitution stings on the street, on the internet," said Templeman. "Wherever it exists and we find out about it we're going to target it."

And in an attempt to curtail the on-line problem, let the hookers and pimps of Snohomish County know that Craigslist makes the shopping easy for police officers too.

"You just never know who is on the other end of that computer," said Templeman.