Over two dozen people were arrested over the weekend as part of a crackdown on prostitution in Hawthorne , police said today. Arrested were 11 suspected prostitutes, one suspected pimp and 13 alleged “johns,” officials said. Increased enforcement began Feb. 21 after numerous complaints from the community about illegal activity on Imperial Highway between Inglewood Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, said Lt. Gary Tomatani of the Hawthorne Police Department. The city and police were seeking “stay away” orders for each of the suspected prostitutes and the pimp, prohibiting them from returning to the area according to one Hawthorne Criminal Defense Attorney. The Courts have sided with the city and have already granted the orders on four of them, Tomatani said. The others are being dealt with through the criminal courts. Hawthorne police conducted a “john” sting Friday near Imperial and Hawthorne Boulevard, where from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. female police officers posing as prostitutes walked the sidewalks. Motorists who propositioned the undercover officers were arrested by a police team stationed nearby.
Thirteen men, half a dozen of which were local to the area, were taken into custody. One of the men offered drugs in exchange for sex, Tomatani said. However, the man did not have any narcotics on him.