Hookers, sports, and Las Vegas seem to fit together like a three-legged milking stool. It’s a problem as old as “the Strip” and business is good.
A new twist is happening in Las Vegas, and the Metro Police are struggling to cope with the new influx of sin in the resort’s corridor. Already stretched to the max because of organized thievery and violence, authorities are trying new tactics to stem the growth of crime.
Some observers, when speaking of the city translate Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
The last time the city hosted the Super Bowl visitors were eyed as marks by this new class of criminal preying on tourists.
For Calvin Wandick of the LVMPD, work is working on the bridges, the sidewalks, and streets. “It’s like a convention of lowlifes,” says the veteran cop.
Tens of thousands of tourists are in town at any moment, making for an irresistible magnet for thieves and crooks. The best Wandick and other officers can hope for is to catch as many as feasible.
“There are people walking with thousands in their pockets,” points out Wandick. “The crook sees the opportunity and takes it.”
One length of sidewalk beside Planet Hollywood keeps the squad employed. Crawling with hustlers and drug peddlers, the cops could fill up the paddy wagon each night just along this stretch of concrete.
The police don’t stick to the pathways. They also march into hotels to break up and scatter the “trick roll pros” who became a regular fixture around the nightclub following the Super Bowls. Prostitution now is about robberies, less about sex.
“Prostitution is a different level than anyone here has seen on the Strip,” said Wandick. “It’s exploded.”
Along with Metro Sergeant Mike Ford, the men run detective teams who work dangerous crimes in and about the Strip — and nothing else. Over half of the city’s significant offenses are linked to the theft rings using hookers as bait. Gangs, pickpockets, and drug operations are nocturnal facts along with auto theft.
During a single night, the cops on the Strip observe more crime and a season’s worth of reality cop shows.
“Been running from the police tonight?” Ford asks one suspect.
Moving from serious crime to serious crime, the only time the police along this beat slow down is when they haul someone off to jail.