SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police are cracking down on a persistent problem, but with a new technological twist. They have been posting the results of an undercover prostitution sting on social media.
In a post on their Facebook page Wednesday night, police invited followers to take a "virtual ride-along" as they conducted an unspecified operation across the city.
Throughout the night, they posted pictures on the site, showing men in handcuffs.
KSAT 12 News has learned that operation had to do with prostitution, and in two nights, detectives made about a dozen arrests.
Those who were rounded up late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning include Sindihebura Sylvester, 29; Joshua Gilbert, 35; Mike Armendariz, 30; Nereo Diaz Diaz, 26; and Lucio Villegas Juarez, 31.
The names of those arrested Wednesday night were not available immediately.
All of those arrested in the Tuesday night crackdown have been charged with prostitution. Police said most of the suspects are accused of trying to pay for sex.
They asked that the exact locations where the busts took place not be released.
Mary Lou Garcia works in one neighborhood where arrests were made. She said she gets a regular eyeful of this type of crime from her store window.
"They're already here at 6 (a.m.), walking the streets. And there's nobody in the streets. Only them," Garcia said. "Regular customers that come in here, they complain a lot. It is really bad."
Barbara Gonzales said she has no trouble spotting prostitution in the neighborhood either. She freely admitted that she once was closely involved with it.
"It's the same people all the time, the customers," Gonzales said.
Since the crackdown began, however, Gonzales said she has noticed a difference: a slowdown in activity.
Still, she said she wonders how long the impact of the arrests will last.
The round-up appears to have targeted men, but Gonzales pointed out that women allegedly involved in this crime are still on the streets.
Police said their efforts in that neighborhood and other trouble spots for prostitution are ongoing.
Below are mugshots for the men arrested in the sting Tuesday night: