Metro police make arrests at illegal massage parlors
Undercover officers raiding local businesses say massage parlors were offering up more than just massages.
The raids were spurred in part by complaints from neighbors.
"If you look three doors down, you can see that frame," said Eric Hoogland.
Hoogland showed Eyewitness News just how close the sign advertising massages is to his East Washington Street home, where he's lived since the early 1990s. He's suspected illegal activity from the start.
"I had no way of knowing that, you know, anything truly illegal was going on there. I just thought it was a regular massage parlor," he said.
But after constant complaints from other people living nearby, Metro Police officers started visiting the parlor undercover and say they uncovered illegal activity.
Eyewitness News rode along with police as they raided two illegal massage parlors. In one of the raids, officers arrested 43-year-old Meiyun Cai and 28-year-old Xiao Wan for what they allegedly did while giving massages to undercover officers.
"Both people performing massages are being arrested for prostitution. Both offered sexual acts for money," said IMPD Det. Sgt. Bill Carter.
As suspected, police confiscated money during the raid. In some cases, cash is hidden in secret locations like a fake Ajax can.
The same scenario played out during a raid at The Massage Therapy Company on East 10th Street. Officers arrested 46-year-old Chou Li Lin on prostitution charges. The parlor is home for her and at least one other woman working here. The use a utility closet as a kitchen.
Although Hoogland had no idea his new neighbors and their business may have been up to no good, he knows now.
"I am glad they shut it down," he said.
A judge ordered the massage parlors to shut down. Both the business owner and property owner will have a hearing in about 10 days.
The parlors must be licensed by the state and that's why police say people should call the Mayor's Action Center when a parlor pops up in their neighborhoods and they suspect illegal activity.