Seven women were arrested Thursday night on suspicion of intending to commit prostitution at a South Ninth Street motel, authorities said.
Given a relatively slow night, a few Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies decided to "put a dent" into the area's prostitution problem, according to Lt. Charles Grom.
Deputies converged at the California Inn, 1130 S. Ninth St.
There, they watched as various women flagged down cars. As soon as one of the women got a customer, an officer would alert another deputy who would watch the two enter a motel room.
Less than two minutes later, they would knock on the door and arrest the woman, Grom said.
Since the arrest came before anything was consummated, Grom said, the women were charged with loitering with the intent to commit prostitution, a misdemeanor.
Grom said taking that approach, instead of waiting for the act that would lead to prostitution charges, was less time-consuming and complicated.
"This was a spur of the moment thing by our deputies," he said. "We're making it known that this type of activity is not welcome and if you're going to do something, do it somewhere else."
The men were not cited but were encouraged to "go home and not come back."