Undercover 'johns' nab 2 prostitution arrests - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Undercover 'johns' nab 2 prostitution arrests

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Regina Renee King (Source: Myrtle Beach Police) Regina Renee King (Source: Myrtle Beach Police)
Kimberly Rosenblatt (Source: Myrtle Beach Police) Kimberly Rosenblatt (Source: Myrtle Beach Police)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Two women were arrested following a prostitution sting stemming from a popular website advertising Myrtle Beach Escorts.

On Nov. 21, officers of the Myrtle Beach Police Department contacted Kimberly Anne Rosenblatt, 21, in reference to an ad she had placed on backpage.com under the heading for escorts.

Rosenblatt answered the call, which police were recording, and after a brief conversation told officers she knew they were police and didn't want to speak. About 40 minutes, Rosenblatt texted the undercover officers from a different phone number. In the message, Rosenblatt asked, "Are you affiliated with any type of law enforcement?"

When officers denied being law enforcement, Rosenblatt struck up a conversation through text message with the officer. She refused, however, to meet the undercover officers posing as "Johns" at her hotel near the Tanger Outlets on Highway 501.

Officers then contacted Regina Renee King, 30, in reference to a similar ad she had placed on backpage.com. While speaking with the undercover officers, King agreed to meet in the area of 6th Ave. North and Ocean Blvd. While talking to King, officers asked specific questions related to services King offered. King explained she would do a variety of things "for a good tip on top of her $150 in call or $200 out call hourly rates."

During her text conversation with police, King asked the undercover officers if they would like to meet with herself and another woman. When officers agreed, King forwarded Rosenblatt's phone number and said they would both be available that night to meet the officers.

King then sent a text message with a picture of herself and of Rosenblatt. Both pictures that were sent to the undercover officer's cell phone were pictures officers had seen posted on the erotic/escort ads on backpage.com.

King and Rosenblatt came to meet the undercover officers and were placed under arrest. King was charged with prostitution while Rosenblatt faces charges for marijuana possession and theft for having two credit cards in her possession that matched the description of stolen cards in a recent motel robbery. Both offenders were transported to the Myrtle Beach Jail.

Captain David Knipes of the Myrtle Beach Police Department says this operation is an example of their efforts to cut down on prostitution.

"A lot of people see [prostitution as a victimless crime, but if it's in your neighborhood you're certainly not going to want it," Knipes says. "It's up to us to enforce the laws, [and] until things change, we're going to do that."

Knipes says advertisements for prostitution are not a new problem in Myrtle Beach. 

They are, however, becoming more commonplace on the Internet on websites such backpage.com. 

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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