Prostitution Sting in Midtown

By: Mark Lindner
By: Mark Lindner

"They're always around here in the daytime and night time. Even sometimes they go behind our house and do their business. There's always condoms everywhere and everything," says Midtown resident Allana Rose.

Rose must deal with prostitutes and their customers prowling her neighborhood every day.

"They're like always around and then they like yell at people. They yell at the cars like 'hey' and stuff like that. Its nasty."

Police staked out Allana's neighborhood until one o'clock on Friday morning, with undercover officers posed as both prostitutes and customers. The sting resulted in the arrest of fourteen women on prostitution charges and eight men on solicitation charges. They targeted Midtown because prostitution business there is booming.

"I don't know if they think Rockford's an easy touch or not but we're sending them a message that it is not and we're not going to tolerate prostitution in Rockford," says Lt. Joseph Rinaldo of the Rockford Police Department.

"Some of the names of those that were arrested, I remembered from when I was on the street 20 years ago," says Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.

Midtown residents say while stings like Thursday night's help, they don't entirely fix the problem. More police presence is needed in the area, even during daylight hours.

"Prostitutes seem to know when to come out, in the evening or early morning," says Margaret Moore, who has lived in Midtown for 39 years.

"I don't want my kids seeing that. They didn't grow up around that kind of stuff until we moved to this area," says Midtown resident Martini Watts.


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