LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A recent uptick of reports of lewd behavior at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles has prompted a police investigation.
The Los Angeles Police Department has conducted 14 undercover sex sting operations at the library since January, resulting in at least nine arrests for lewd conduct, LAPD officials cited in a report from Los Angeles Downtown News.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith told CBS2’s Dave Lopez the department has stepped up the number of undercover and uniformed LAPD officers at the building as a result.
“I don’t know if it was something on the internet or spread word of mouth, but it apparently became a popular attraction. So our vice guys are on it,” he said.
There were three incidents of lewd conduct at the Central Library in August, followed by two more incidents in September, according to the initial report.
Police said all of the reports were of male-to-male activity, the majority of which occurred in the basement bathroom.
“I had to tell the lady at the front desk about it and she had to call security,” one patron said.
A library spokesman declined an on-camera interview. However, an administrator told CBS2 the nearly century-old building on West 5th Street sees an estimated 145,000 visits every month and that they have security officers and cameras watching the facility.
The LAPD said sting operations will continue until the problem is eradicated.
“Until our vice guys stop working it and they’ve completely eliminated it, we’re going to continue to work it,” Smith said.