SAN ANTONIO – After a human trafficking arrest on Thursday, San Antonio police are warning people of the signs to look out for in order to prevent it from happening again.
The victim in the case is now safe and sound after police arrested Christopher Jones, who police said is charged with trafficking of a minor.
“We’re glad that we were able to find a way out for this victim and that our Vice detectives were able to recognize the signs in the case and were able to get the victim to safety,” said Officer Doug Greene, spokesperson for the San Antonio Police Department.
Police said they were working a prostitution sting on the city’s South Side near Riverside Drive and Roosevelt Avenue when they found the victim in a motel.
Hundreds of thousands of victims under the age of 18 become victims of human trafficking nationwide every year, according to the Ark of Hope for Children organization.
“The most common thing that we're seeing are the runaways. They run away from home and they get caught up in the wrong crowd. Those predators will promise them all sorts of glamorous things,” Greene said. “Before they know it, they're being forced into sex acts, and it's hard for them to find a way out.”
The following are some red flags that a minor may be involved in human trafficking:
Unexplained injuries on a person
Branding or tattoos on a minor
Sexually provocative clothing
Hotel keys, rolls of cash, multiple phones and several social media accounts
Changes in a minor’s school attendance
Luxury items, such as manicures, designer clothing and handbags
“It is common, unfortunately, for missing juveniles to find themselves in this situation, being trafficked by individuals, predators on our streets that will take advantage of them, take advantage of their innocence and put them into these dangerous situations,” Greene said.
San Antonio police said there could be more arrests and victims in the case involving Jones.
Anyone who is a victim or anyone who has any information on human trafficking is asked to call the SAPD Special Victims Unit at 210-207-2313.