MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Five women were arrested for prostitution over the weekend in Myrtle Beach, according to police records.
On Friday, 28-year-old Amanda Nicole Wilson was arrested on 21st Avenue South near Yaupon Drive by Myrtle Beach Police for one charge of prostitution, first offense.
On Saturday, Jamie Doyle-Wenger, 26, and Katelyn Rose Boyd, 18, were arrested for prostitution, first offense on Ocean Boulevard.
On Sunday, Dianah Carol Woods, 44, was arrested for a second prostitution offense on 35th Avenue North, police records state. Shalonda Leann Skiff, 26, was also arrested for prostitution on Sunday, on Ocean Boulevard.
Captain Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department says prostitution has always been an ongoing issue in Myrtle Beach, just like in other cities. But it's only a problem because there is a demand for it. Knipes says police try to crack down on the people seeking prostitutes, too.
Officers argue people who think police should be spending their time arresting other types of criminals don't understand how useful a prostitution arrest can be for those other more serious crimes.
"I think that's a misconception that a lot of people have, is that by us going after these crimes, we're letting more serious crimes go by the wayside," Knipes says. "When in reality, prostitution has ties in with more violent crimes. We will be able to use some of the information that we obtained through these arrests to develop [Confidential Informants] and to get information and tips on more violent crimes that are going on. So, while you may think it's a victimless crime, it does lead to other arrests for us of a more violent nature."
Police say they have a number of ways of finding prostitution suspects. They use social media sites like craigslist and backpage.com. Sometimes people call in with tips.
But, "probably the majority of the arrests that are made from prostitution are just good old fashioned police work - are just observations, officers riding down the street," Knipes continues. "They get flagged down by these women. If there wasn't a demand, these women would be on the streets. So, for every prostitute there's a John. So, not only do we have to go after prostitutes, we have to go after the source, they're the demand. So, that's something that we do from time to time also."