Prostitutes Hurting Business at Chelino's, Owner Says


Monday, April 20th 2009, 4:57 pm
By: News 9


By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - The owner of a popular Oklahoma City restaurant is concerned that prostitutes are taking over the area around his business.

Juan Garcia, one of the Garcia brothers who created the Chelino's chain, has had a successful business for 20 years. Recently, he's seen an increase in prostitutes hanging around his restaurant near SW 42nd Street and Robinson Avenue.

"I have a lot of customers; they come with their kids in the night," Garcia said. "I'm worried about the kids, they see them on the street. You know, they come in and see them. They go out and see them. They start asking questions. What's going on out there?"

Police said prostitutes have been notorious along the stretch of Robinson for years.

"Our undercover officers, our impact teams--they proactively investigate this, go to this area, and attempt to make arrests, and do make arrests for prostitution and related activities," said Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow with Oklahoma City police.

But officers can't arrest for prostitution unless they see deals made. They do ask the women to leave Chelino's property, but Garcia said it's not enought.

"They come and move them from my parking lot, but they go to the other parking lot and they stay there," Garcia said.

Police encourage homeowners and businesses to call 911 immediately if they suspect prostitution or any illegal activities are going on in their neighborhoods.