Burlington, NC

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Burlington is a city of about 50,000 residents located in central North Carolina, in Alamance County.  The Burlington Police Department conducts reverse stings in response to complaints and tips about prostitution in certain areas of the city, and to alleviate problems such as prostitution-related child endangerment. Those arrested have their names, ages, charges, and photos provided to the media.  For example, in July 2018, four men were charged with soliciting prostitution in a weekend undercover operation by Burlington police. The reverse sting was organized in the Ireland Street area “in response to community complaints and concerns” about prostitution, according to a Burlington Police Department news release.

In March, 2018, Burlington police arrested five men accused of soliciting a prostitute after multiple complaints in the community about prostitution. All five faced charges of solicitation for prostitution and received secured bonds as low as $500 and unsecured bonds as high as $2,500.  Police urged anyone with information about prostitution to call Burlington police at (336) 229-3500.

In December 2019, eleven men were arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution after an undercover operation by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, Burlington and Graham police, and the State Bureau of Investigation.  Detectives had placed an online ad promoting sexual services, and the 11 suspects solicited the services. The suspects were arrested when they arrived at the operation’s location.  Those arrested were charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution, and their identities were included in news releases.


Key Partners

  • Burlington Police Department
  • Graham Police Department
  • Alamance County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings with Shaming:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Police Raid Alleged Prostitution House,” Burlington Times-News, October 8 2007.
  • “Alleged Brothel Shocks Neighbors,” Burlington Times-News, October 11 2007.
  • “Details of Prostitution Bust Emerge,” Burlington Times-News, June 14 2011.
  • “Complaints Lead to Drug Arrests at Burlington Motel,” Burlington Times-News, December 15 2014.

Child Endangerment:

  • “Mother Pleads Guilty to Prostitution in Front of Children, Neglect,” Burlington Times-News, February 26 2013.
State North Carolina
Type City
Population 49572
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