Prostitutes Change Tactics After Craigslist Tightens Restrictions

Hookers Return To El Cajon Blvd.

A change by Craigslist aimed at prostitution has led to a change on some local streets.

10News reporter, Michael Chen, has learned prostitutes are changing the way they do business.

On El Cajon Boulevard, a month ago, Chen reported, the name of the game was pimps working their laptops.

Now, he says, it's girls working the streets.

For six years, “Michelle” prostituted herself on Craigslist.

A month ago, everything changed.

For privacy reasons, she asked 10News not to show her face.

“It was like panic. Everybody was calling from all over, trying to figure out what are we going to do,” Michelle said.

Uncertainty, after Craigslist began cracking down on prostitution by examining each listing before putting it up.

Anything explicit, “They take off instantly,” Michelle said.

Since then, the changes are noticeable.

Law enforcement sources say there are fewer adult ads, less skin and less obvious propositions like "an unforgettable experience."

10News even found a "classy blonde" reading a book.

Despite the cleaner ads, Michelle says too many were being flagged, so pimps got impatient.

“I know girls that have never been to the track and their folks are making them go to the track now,” Michelle said.

The “track”, she mentions, means the streets.

Michelle says girls across the state are flocking to El Cajon Boulevard.

“It's rolling on El Cajon, they were talking about it,” Michelle said.

But once on the streets, “I started reflecting on my life,” Michelle said.

The she made a decision.

Two weeks ago, she left the business.

“It was just, it's not worth it anymore,” Michelle said.

Others, too, are leaving the streets for other adult sites.

Michelle says pimps aren't happy, because the sites aren't as popular as Craigslist.

"Michelle" made the decision to leave prostitution after outreach efforts by the Jahi Turner Foundation and The Rock Church.