MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Several women have been arrested for prostitution after Myrtle Beach police officers used online classified ads to meet up. Many WMBF News Facebook users have spoken out, questioning police efforts and whether they are misguided when making prostitution arrests.
Megan Elizabeth Headley, 25, was arrested Friday, Feb. 13 during an undercover sting. According to a Myrtle Beach police report, the undercover officer “made contact with [Headley] via text message, provided on her [classifieds website] advertisement.”
During the text exchange, police said Headley agreed to $150 for a one-hour session, the report stated. After meeting with the Headley, police said she agreed to sexual acts for the agreed upon $150, as well as undressing to just underwear.
Headley was then arrested.
Sunday, Feb. 15, another prostitution arrest was made in Myrtle Beach.
April Wallace, 35, met with the undercover officer in an apartment complex off of North Kings Highway around 8:45 p.m. where they discussed the prices of her sessions.
According to the report, Wallace removed all of her clothing except her underwear and then attempted to remove the officer's clothing when he informed her that he was a Myrtle Beach police officer.
Wallace was arrested and charged with prostitution 1st offense.
Jessica Coulter-Wallace, 24, was also arrested and charged with prostitution 1st offense Sunday night when police used online classified ads to meet with her.
The undercover officer and Coulter-Wallace talked through text and phone calls where they agreed to meet in an apartment complex around 10:30 p.m. on North Kings Highway, according to the report.
Coulter-Wallace told the undercover officer she would exchange sexual acts for $150 an hour. The officer then told Coulter-Wallace he was a Myrtle Beach police officer.
When this story was first posted to Facebook, comments were posted left and right. One read "what a colossal waste of police resources". Several users liked it in agreement. So WMBF News took the comments to police.
“Even though we have major crime occurring in our city, and we put our resources toward solving those crimes, we also have the street level crime that we also must address to hopefully deter that from becoming those major crimes as well,” said Lt. Joey Crosby with the MBPD.
And with regard to using
as a resource, “A lot of times citizens will contact us and let us know what they've seen on the internet," according to Crosby.
Police say their focus is sometimes questioned by the community after making prostitution arrests. But prostitution is illegal, and it's probably something you don't want in your neighborhood.
“Through our community watch meetings, we have neighbors and citizens that are vocal about activities occurring in their neighborhoods,” Crosby said.
And when a call comes in about suspicious activity in a certain area, Crosby said police have to take a look. "On many occasions, these investigations are initiated either through the information we receive from citizens, business owners Or as an officer is patrolling the area, they oftentimes see activity in which we need to address. "