MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A recent prostitution sting resulted in 13 arrests for the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
This comes just days after Horry County police apprehended seven women in an undercover prostitution operation last week.
Bevelyn Mitchell, the outreach coordinator for the Myrtle Beach Rape Crisis Center, feels a sense of relief knowing these women are off the streets.
However, it’s her hope to give these women the resources to turn their lives around.
“They’re going to pull that person into their world and trap them by the means of selling their bodies,” said Mitchell.
In the past two weeks, Horry County has had 20 prostitution related arrests, 13 of those happening within Myrtle Beach city limits.
After receiving numerous complaints from the community seeing an uptick in traffic, Myrtle Beach police decided to conduct an operation targeting street level prostitution as well as social media.
The street crime officer we spoke with could not be identified, but said during their time with Myrtle Beach police, it has been a steady crime in the area year-round.
“The tourism population is down so it stands out a little more, it’s pretty constant throughout the summer,” said the officer.
Mitchell offers a number of resources at the Rape Crisis Center to those willing to make the change in their life, but that will power isn’t always there.
“As far as them being able to breakaway, it is a mind game if someone gets your mind the rest of you just follows along,” said Mitchell.
During last week’s prostitution bust by the Horry County police, each targeted several massage parlors.
Myrtle Beach police said this sting operation monitored activity on the streets and social media.
“We look for clues such as walking the same area over and over with no clear destination, standing around and flagging down cars,” said the officer.
This was the first offense for 11 of the 13 women charged with prostitution.
Mitchell said while they don’t have as many resources as other cities throughout the state, they’ll continue to be that stepping stone toward recovery.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department Street Division will continue monitoring illegal activity throughout the city.
Mitchell is also advising everyone to be aware of the dangers and traps that could be on social media sites.