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Growing Prostitution Problem Caught on Tape

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Brian Bates captures the growing prostitution problem on film. Brian Bates captures the growing prostitution problem on film.
Bates says the police's work to bust prostitutes online has forced the hookers to take to the streets to find business. Bates says the police's work to bust prostitutes online has forced the hookers to take to the streets to find business.

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- For 13 years, Brian Bates has been using his camera as a crime fighting tool, catching hundreds breaking the law.

Brian Bates is known as the video vigilante, and he's made it his career to document prostitution.

South Robinson Avenue is known for his its heavy traffic, both in vehicles and by women looking to make a quick buck selling sex.

"The stereotype for the prostitution on Robinson, it's known as a $20 street," Bates said. "Anything can be bought for $20."

But in recent months, Bates said the stereotype is changing. He said with police cracking down on prostitution on sites like Craigslist, the higher paid hookers are hitting the streets.

"Most of these girls, if they're caught out here soliciting, in the end, they might get $100 ticket," Bates said. "If they're caught soliciting on the Internet, it's a felony record."

The police are well aware of the growing problem.

"We've been aware of complaints for quite a while now on the prostitution going on in this area," said Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow.

Police said undercover cops are working the area, but Bates believes it will take a lot more work to get them off the street.

"These girls are pros," Bates said. "They know prostitution is a low-priority call."

Police said they monitor Craigslist and work cases from it, but they are not seeing a rise in crime as a result of that Internet site.

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