Oak Park residents fed up with prostitutes and pimps

8:11 AM, Feb 23, 2010   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA --  Felix Bunac gestures angrily down Parker Avenue in front of his house, where he says hookers ply their trade both day and night.

"They park from right over here, to right over here, the used condoms you see here all the time," Bunac said.

This small section of Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood has been home to prostitution along Stockton Boulevard for years.

But neighbors say it's getting worse as police and sheriff's budgets are shrinking. "There's been times when I've called because they'll park on the side and nobody comes," said a young woman who didn't want her name used.

Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Laura Peck acknowledges the department's budget for vice enforcement has been cut, but said neighbors still need to do their part.

"If they see something like that happening, certainly in front of their house, if they could document the license plate, that would be great. But even if not, they can call the police department. We will send somebody out as soon as we have someone available."

Residents said the customers are as brazen as the prostitutes, sometimes following young girls on their way to school.

"Even though you kind of shoo them off, they'll sit there and follow you for blocks and blocks and blocks," said one young woman who also wanted to remain anonymous.

One young prostitute, who called herself "Amber" said she and the others are just trying to make a living, and she had little sympathy for frustrated neighbors. "They should move, get away from this neighborhood if they don't like it," she said.

In the past, Amber said, enforcement was tougher, but said she would simply spend a night in jail and be right back on the streets. She said she doesn't expect anything to change now. "It's still gonna be here. This is Stockton (Boulevard). And what else? You're still gonna see (prostitutes) out here."

Even some of those most upset at the problem admit they haven't done all they could. "No, I didn't figure I needed to call the cops. I just holler at them to go somewhere else," said Bunac. 

By Dave Marquis, dmarquis@news10.net



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