(INDIANAPOLIS) - Police have turned to monitoring CB radio channels to make several recent prostitution-related arrests at a busy cluster of southwest Indianapolis truck stops.
RTV6 reports, the truck stops along South Harding Street at Interstate 465 have long struggled with prostitutes, and police said it often leads to violent crimes such as robberies or assaults.
In one recent case, police arrested a 26-year-old woman using the name "Sadie" over the CB radio trucker channels. Officers said they listened as she offered sex for a price, arranging to meet a trucker who would flash his turn signal when she arrived. Officers then reported that she pulled into the lot and the trucker flashed his lights, prompting officers to move in and arrest her on June 6.
Police and truckers told the Call 6 Investigators that prostitutes typically refer to themselves as "commercial company" on the CB radios.
The women offering that "commercial company" were sometimes heard on two different CB channels at the same time, each one trying to convince truckers to hire them or working to arrange details of an upcoming meeting.
Women are using the main trucker frequency, channel 19, and then urge truckers to follow them to a quieter channel to arrange the specifics.
In other CB radio transmissions, one woman was heard assuring truckers that she routinely gets tested for diseases, one woman was heard suggesting $60 was the basic price for sex in a trucker's cab, and one transmission said condoms were required for oral or straight sex at all times.
That trucker, and police officers who patrol the truck stops, said they have also heard drugs being peddled in the same fashion over CB channels.
The women often received help from the truckers in acting as lookouts for police activity. Some men were heard broadcasting a warning seconds after a patrol car would happen through the area.
Police have made several recent arrests for charges other than prostitution, since officers said the CB radio transmissions make it difficult to prove that sex was arranged for a price.
In the case of the 26-year-old suspected prostitute arrested in June, officers reported they could not prove the prostitution crime after listening to her CB radio sales pitch. Instead, she was charged with trespassing, since the particular parking lot owner had already warned her to stay off the property where police found her.
Another officer assigned to patrol the area in uniform likened the prostitutes to cockroaches, saying that when officers arrest a few, there are always others that swarm in to take their place.
Police said they would continue to make arrests on charges other than prostitution, as they continue to adapt to the women moving their conversations off the CB radio channels and onto phone calls or text messages.
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