VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) --Fed up neighbors in Visalia said they're relieved after a prostitution sting shut down several massage parlors in the area. Visalia police conducted this operation after receiving neighborhood complaints. They visited four massage parlors and they said all four were engaging in illegal activity.
Enticing pictures decorate the windows of Happy Massage. Neighbors said the only ones "happy" are its customers
"The moment they came in here they were sketchy from the get go," said Sandy Maxwell, business owner.
Maxwell works just a few doors down the massage parlor. She said she started noticing suspicious activity almost immediately after the business moved in.
"All you see is gentleman going in, they stop, they look around, it's like, we know what's going on."
She called the cops numbers times. Those complaints paid off on Wednesday.
Visalia police conducted compliance checks on four parlors. All of them were found to be engaging in prostitution.
"Four for four is a little surprising, but not that uncommon," said Lt. Ron Epp, Visalia Police.
Officers arrested four women.
In addition to Happy Massage, they worked at ABC Relaxing Station, Sunshine Massage, and Valley Serenity Massage. The owner of Valley Serenity was also cited for using unlicensed masseuses.
"I have families coming in here, nobody wants to see that," said Maxwell.
As of Thursday, all four businesses had either shut down or they told Action News they weren't open.
"It's illegal no matter how you want to cut it or put a face on it," said Epp.
Maxwell said their behavior is ruining the reputation of legitimate businesses like hers.
"To see people that just want it for sex is just crazy. We need the massage therapist to have a good name, not ones that are fly by night," said Maxwell.
It is unclear when these businesses will be back open, but first they'll have to comply with city ordinances.