LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tired of watching prostitutes solicit customers, one property manager on the city's south side decided to do something about it. After working with WAVE 3, LMPD detectives set up an undercover reverse sting operation and planted a decoy prostitute to help deter would be clients.
The sting unfolded on a Thursday afternoon at a business off Preston Highway, but before police hit the streets, they spent time planning every detail of the operation.
Sgt. Kit Steimle reviewed the game plan, making sure the decoy's safety was top priority. Everyone involved was instructed on where to position themselves, and the decoy was advised to disguise her voice.
With everyone in place except the decoy, customer after customer entered the Super Stop Food Mart, with LMPD detectives positioned just across the street.
Once the decoy was in place, it didn't take long for customers to show an interest. She quickly made contact with a man in a white SUV.
"You like to party?" she asked. "Not a partier," came the reply.
But there was no shortage of people who were interested in partying. One man, dressed in an undershirt and baggy pants didn't have any cash, so he offered drugs instead. "I can give you, like a dub [a small bag of marijuana]. That's it."
The decoy gives him a room number of a nearby hotel and tells him she'll be right there. He comes back a little later to make sure he has the right move. That's when police move in, and Steimle sees the suspect ditching the pot. Police were unable to find it, but he was arrested for solicitation.
In all, four men responded within 30 minutes, offering money, drugs and CDs in exchange for sex.
"I've never of someone offering CDs for sex," Steimle said.
They were all sent to the hotel room, and all were arrested by police.
"It's one of those old-time professions," Steimle said. "People just roll the dice and take their chances at it."
Prostitution is a misdemeanor crime in Kentucky, regardless of the number of offenses, but penalties are more severe for sex crimes involving children.
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725 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40203