Kent “John” Sting nets 11 arrests; first vehicles impounded


  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, August 4, 2009 11:05am
  • News

Officers from the Kent Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit made 11 arrests and impounded five vehicles during a July 29 undercover sting operation along Pacific Highway South aimed at people who patronize prostitutes, known as “johns.”

During the operation, undercover decoy officers were placed at a location along Pacific Highway South. In total, the operation netted 10 arrests for patronizing and one arrest for promoting prostitution.

The sting also took advantage of a new law that went into effect this past week that allows certain, signed areas to be designated as impound zones.

If a person is arrested in the zone for patronizing a prostitute, their vehicle is impounded and a $500 fee must be paid before the vehicle is released.

This fee is in addition to the required court appearance and any penalties for the crime itself. All proceeds from the $500 fee goes to a state fund for social services aimed specifically at prevention and intervention of prostitution.

According to a press release form the Kent Police, of the 10 persons arrested, five of them had their vehicles impounded. The law allows impound if the vehicle is owned by the arrestee or is a rental car.

Four of the five vehicle owners paid their fee to get their cars back by the end of the night. As with any impound in the state, individuals have due process rights to contest impoundments and fees through a civil process.

A man who approached one of the police decoys and attempted to “recruit” her was, after further investigation, arrested for promoting prostitution. According to Police Chief Steve Strachan, the man was determined to be a registered sex offender, with previous arrests for rape of a child and molestation.

“The arrest of a sex offender makes it even clearer that street prostitution is not a victimless crime. Our neighborhoods deserve better,” said Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan.

“This is about sending a strong and simple message: This is not tolerated here in Kent. We will keep doing stings, and now we will impound cars.”

Kent P.D. will be conducting additional stings aimed at the “johns” who further this illegal activity.

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