San Bruno, 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

San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, CA, and has a population of approximately 43,000 residents. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas. This activity and its ancillary crimes have generated residential reports to local law enforcement. Among the more serious crimes associated with the city’s commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. Additionally, illicit massage businesses (IMBs) are a significant and pervasive issue in the city. For example, in June of 2015, due to an increase in IMBs in the city, the San Bruno City Council adopted an updated set of rules and regulations associated with operating a massage business in the city. In response to the new regulations, the San Bruno Police Department police conducted a five-month long enforcement operation between October, 2016 and March, 2016, in an effort to combat human trafficking, prostitution, and other illegal activities that may happen under the guise of massage therapy. The investigation resulted in the arrest of two individuals; a 36-year-old Sacramento resident on suspicion of solicitation for an act of prostitution, and a 57-year-old San Francisco resident and business owner on suspicion of solicitation for an act of prostitution. In addition the city revoked the two businesses’ certificates of registration, prohibiting them from operating in the city.

In effort to reduce prostitution and sex trafficking, and the wide range of other crimes related to the sex trade, local law enforcement has deployed various demand reduction tactics targeting individuals seeking to purchase commercial sex in the city, such as arresting sex buyers and disclosing their identities to the public. For example, in 1978, the SBPD uncovered an alleged $200-an-hour prostitution ring based in San Bruno. Police conducted a reverse sting, placing advertisements for commercial sex services in newspapers to which potential sex buyers could respond by calling to arrange a meeting. They also conducted a sting targeting those providing prostitution. As a result of the joint operation, three prostituted women were arrested on prostitution charges and four male sex buyers were arrested on charges of either prostitution, conspiracy, and/or pimping/sex trafficking and pandering. The identities of arrested offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.

State California
Type City
Population 42275
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