Lancaster, CA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Lancaster is a city of approximately 158,000 residents, in Los Angeles County, CA, located just north of the city of Los Angeles. Prostitution and sex trafficking are significant issues in the city. A wide range of problems are associated with the local commercial sex market, including rape and multiple homicides of prostituted persons (several of which have been investigated for being the acts of a serial killer specifically targeting prostituted women).

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To combat consumer-level demand for commercial sex, the Lancaster Station division of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department conducted its first street-level reverse sting in 1993. Police have conducted at least two additional operations since, using an undercover woman officer as a decoy. Arrested sex buyers may be subject to auto seizure and pay substantial fees to recover their vehicles. For example, in a reverse sting operation in 2004, 32 male sex buyers were arrested and 30 vehicles were impounded.


Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Auto Seizure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Prostitution-related violence:

State California
Type City
Population 157697
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