Couple arrested after prostitution scam
A Rochester couple is behind bars today after authorities say they were using a prostitution ad to rob people.
The case began Tuesday, when Rochester police received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The organization, which tracks national advertising sites for cases of sex trafficking, said a prostitution ad posted in the Rochester area involved a 15-year-old.
Officials believed the ad "may be a rip-off set-up," said Lt. Jim Evenson.
An undercover officer with the street crimes unit responded to the ad, the report says, and arranged a meeting. About 4 p.m. Tuesday, the officer met with the "15-year-old," Evenson said, who was actually an adult woman.
The officer gave the woman money for the agreed-upon services, "and she took off and jumped in a truck," Evenson said.
Officers waiting in the parking lot ordered the 43-year-old driver to stop; he did, but forgot to put the vehicle in park when he got out. It then rolled into an unmarked police car, the report says, causing minor damage.
The driver and the 27-year-old woman were arrested at the scene.
The pair had likely "done this several times in the past," Evenson said, because their victims are probably reluctant to report the circumstances around the robberies.
"They didn't feel bad about ripping these guys off," he said, "because they were 'bad guys' anyway, for wanting to have sex with a 15-year-old."
They face charges of prostitution, promoting prostitution and theft. Agreeing to services for money is sufficient for the charges, despite intent, Evenson said.
The Post-Bulletin typically doesn't identify suspects until they've been charge.