Mission Valley motel to crack down on prostitution

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SAN DIEGO — The owners of the Travelodge motel in Mission Valley have agreed to increase security measures to thwart prostitution activity, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

MissionValleyTravelodgeMission Valley Travelodge Joint Venture and WW Lodging Ltd. are to hire onsite security guards and reimburse the city of San Diego more than $18,000 in investigative costs, according to the deal reached last week.

The partnership that owns and manages the motel at 1201 Hotel Circle S. already have installed more security cameras, posted signs to deter criminal activity and improved registration policies to include the photocopying of all guest and visitor identification cards and registering of all guest and visitor vehicles, the City Attorney’s Office said.

“Tourism is one of San Diego’s largest industries, guests to our city should feel safe and secure during their stay,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “Our office will continue to combat illegal activity such as prostitution and will work diligently to hold business owners accountable and clean up neighborhoods.”

Legal documents show that San Diego police detectives found numerous females advertising themselves for sex on websites who directed them to the motel between November 2011 and early February last year, resulting in 20 arrests for prostitution-related crimes, including pimping and human trafficking.

One arrested pimp had $20,000 in cash in his car, according to the complaint.

Another 93 calls for to the SDPD for service were logged during that period, consuming more than 222 hours of personnel time. Officers didn’t see security guards or surveillance cameras at the hotel, the complaint said.

The complaint said hotel management placed the name of each arrested person on a “do not rent” list, but failed to make structural or management changes. However, the City Attorney’s Office said motel management has been responsive and cooperative since the legal process started.

In an agreement signed by Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall, the motel operators will also have to increase the required deposit for all rooms rented with cash and limit visitor hours to 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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