Berkeley police arrested 12 men for soliciting prostitutes along San Pablo and Heinz avenues during a four-hour sting Friday evening, police said.
Two female officers in the department’s Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) posed as prostitutes, while other SEU officers arrested men who propositioned the decoys, according to Public information Officer Mary Kusmiss.
The sting was the fourth in a series of operations aimed at combating prostitution in southwest Berkeley. To date, a combined total of 56 prostitutes and “johns” have been arrested in the stings, Kusmiss said.
San Pablo Avenue has long been plagued by prostitution because it offers sex workers heavy car traffic and provides easy access to isolated areas in west Berkeley that are conducive to illicit sex, according to police.
The 12 men were arrested on misdemeanor charges of soliciting the officers to engage in sex acts. They resided from several Bay Area cities, and one came from as far away as San Jose.
Contact reporter at