Chicago Heights has a population of about 31,000 and is located in Northern Illinois, just south of the Chicago. Many large scale stings have occurred since 1996 as a result of feelings on the part of police and residents that prostitution and sex trafficking “cheapens a community.” Also in 1996, a city ordinance was passed allowing Chicago Heights police to seize the vehicles of men arrested for solicitation. In 2003, 106 men were arrested and had their cars seized in a five day reverse sting operation spanning the Chicago Heights region. As a penalty, they had to pay a $100 fine for soliciting and at least $100 to recover their vehicles. A reverse sting in 2012 resulted in 49 arrests and impounding of vehicles. In addition to bail and other costs, the men had to pay a $500 impound fee in 2012. The name, age, and address of each arrested john is published in the local media.
- Reverse Stings and Auto Seizure:
- “A Prostitution Sting Nets 30 in Chicago Heights”, Chicago Tribune, October 10 1994.
- “Chicago Hts. Nets 30 Men in Prostitution Crackdown”, Chicago Sun-Times, May 22 1995.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 35 Arrests”, Chicago Tribune, April 1 1996.
- “115 Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Chicago Sun-Times, June 23 1997.
- “Suburban Prostitution Sweep Nets 104”, Chicago Tribune, August 25 1997.
- “Prostitution Sweep Nabs 96 Men”, Chicago Tribune, September 22 1997.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 106 Men”, Chicago Tribune, November 8 2003.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area: