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Police: Veteran Prostitutes Pinched In Paterson Undercover Op

Hook, line and stinger.
Hook, line and stinger. Photo Credit: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons

An undercover police officer posing as a john netted four veteran Paterson prostitutes who waved down and propositioned him, authorities said.

The detective cruised the area of Van Houten Avenue and Auburn Street between the city public library and the Kilpatrick School on Friday, city Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.

Arrested were Betty Morales, 47, and Nicole C. Paletta-Wright, 39, of Paterson, and Kristen D. Surlak, 34, of Fair Lawn, he said.

Also arrested, at Broadway and East 18th Street, was Dawn M. Stapowick, 47, of Paterson, the director said.

All were issued summonses and released, he said.

It’s part of a “broken windows” approach to policing, in which law enforcement treats low-level quality of life crimes seriously in an effort to maintain order and, in doing so, hopefully prevent more serious lawbreaking, Speziale said.

“These issues lead to larger crimes,” he said. “We have focused on the prostitutes drawing people to the community and will continue to focus on both the prostitutes and johns. We will continue to put a lid on it.”

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