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Police: Five men tried to solicit undercover cops for sex

Springfield, Mo. -- Thursday night Springfield police busted five men, near Mount Vernon and Grant, who they say tried to solicit undercover female cops for sex.  The five men were booked into jail and are now facing charges for soliciting prostitution.

The neighborhood just west of Center City is full of college students, senior citizens, renters, and homeowners.  Thursday it was also the sight of an undercover police operation.  The commotion did not surprise for those who live in the area.

"You have a lot of girls and women that walk the streets day and night," said David Sorg, a neighbor.

"I see prostitutes walking up and down the street often," said Rebekah Wilkinson, who also lives nearby.

Police sent out two undercover cops to pose as prostitutes and say both were solicited multiple times.

"Subjects approached undercover officers and requested sexual favors and or sex for money," said Captain Greg Higdon of the Springfield Police Department.

Police arrested five men within four hours.  Residents said that represents just a small slice of what really goes on in their neighborhood.

"Police are up and down through here on a daily basis. Seems like as soon as they've come and gone the people are right back at it again," Sorg said.

Wilkinson is a full-time nurse and mother of one.  Her husband studies at the nearby Missouri State University, and the family moved to the area to be close to campus.

"I walk down the streets, and men will slow down and try to pick me up.  It's terrifying," she said.

The five men police picked up Thursday night are all facing prostitution charges.  As of late Friday, those charges were yet to be processed.


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