By Hal Collier
The following stories are true and come from the annals of my memory. On the police department, we have shifts, some over- lapping to cover busy times. Prostitutes have the same kind of shift. Most people think prostitutes only work late at night. It’s really a matter of supply and demand. The demand is higher late night/early morning. What most people don’t know is that prostitutes work split shifts. I think they have a poor union.
The following is not new for any cop who’s worked the streets for any time. Some girls work the morning rush hour. Yea, that’s right— some men drive right by the Starbucks and pick up a prostitute for their pick-me-up before heading into the office. Wash your hands after shaking his hand.
Then there’s the lunch crowd. That’s right, your fellow employee or boss goes to lunch and comes back and acts like he hasn’t eaten all day. There’s even the going home group, nothing like a quickie before going home to the little woman and kids. Bet you’ll never look at a soccer dad at practice the same way again.
Then the real business starts. That’s right, the night trade. That’s when hundreds of girls appear. Some of their customers are regulars; others just had a fight or breakup with their wife or girlfriend. A lot of customers just left a bar or strip club. Anyway, a little alcohol and thinking with the wrong head and streets of Hollywood are crammed with demand and looking for the right supply.
When a trick gets robbed or his wallet stolen, he thinks he’s going to fool the cops with a lame story. The following are a few that I heard.
“Officer, I just got robbed by this lady on Sunset!”
“I was driving on sunset after working late and this girl needed a ride for three blocks. She stole my wallet.”
“She took it right out of my pants pocket when we were looking at the moon.”
“Officer, this girl with a husky voice and large hands stole my wallet at Highland and Yucca.” I told them that the girls at Highland and Yucca were not girls they were drag queens. Some were surprised and some knew. I always looked for their reaction.
Here’s one of my favorites. “Officer, I was driving home and I got really tired. I checked into this motel to take a nap before driving home. I napped for a 1/2 hour and when I woke up my wallet was gone.”
Yea right, the price of a motel room—$100, a half hour nap and finding your wallet stolen. Cancelling all your credit cards and making up a better story to tell your wife—priceless.
Some were more honest. “Officer I picked up this girl and we went to a motel room. I got undressed and she told me to go take a shower. When I got out of the shower she was gone and she took my pants and wallet.”
“Officer do you have a pair of pants I can borrow, I can’t let my wife see me like this?” You’ve got to be kidding me, like I carry around an extra pair of pants in moron size!!!
I used the same line for most of these so-called victimless crimes. “You came to Hollywood to get ‘screwed’ and you got ‘screwed.’” You can exchange ‘screwed’ for the word I really used. Bet you won’t hear that at a Neighborhood Watch Meeting.
Here’s another way to get ripped off while taking a half hour nap. I had a snitch who told me of a prostitute who would get a client and tell him to park on the side street. Leave your wallet under the front seat of your car, there’s some crooks around here. She would walk to the motel and tell an accomplice what car her latest love was driving. He would break into the car and steal the wallet. I staked out on this information and caught the wallet thief.
I’m an old dog but I can learn new tricks. I started getting calls of men having their wallets stolen at Sunset and Orange. This was a favorite hangout for prostitutes. The girls would work the street corner and the pimps would sit inside the IHOP and watch their employees.
The story usually went like this: A lone male would drive up Orange and stop at the red light. These girls would run out and reach in the open window and rub him, you know where, trying to get him to agree to a date. One of the girls would remove his wallet. All the girls would then disappear. After numerous reports that were the same I decided to investigate.
One rather busy night I parked my police car a block away, climbed a fence walked through a parking lot and crouched down behind an ivy-covered fence. I was only twenty feet away from this gaggle of prostitutes. I’m sure there is a better name for a group of prostitutes, but gaggle seem appropriate after listening to them jabber for ten minutes. It was like geese flying south for the winter.
Ok, I’m crouched down and watching the girls. This car drives up to the red light. The girls spring into action. Four of them run up to the car. They’re talking dirty to the man driving and leaning into the car. Soon one of the girls yells, “cops,” and they all run off. The man drives away and I watch as the girls go through his wallet, dividing up his money and credit cards. The man was a victim, but with some responsibility for the crime. Don’t drive around Hollywood with both windows rolled down unless you want your credit card used at IHOP by a pimp.
Next, Drag queens. Hal