Three massage parlors in Poway were raided and busted for allegations of unlawful touching and prostitution activity. NBC 7's Lea Sutton reports.
Three massage parlors on the same street in Poway are being investigated for alleged prostitution activity, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed.
On Friday afternoon, officials say the Sheriff’s Poway Community Policing Team, North County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Poway Detective Unit conducted an undercover sting at three massage parlor locations in Poway: the Silky Massage at 13328 Poway Rd.; Hai Tee Acupuncture-Massage at 12623 Poway Rd. and Healing Touch at 12845 Poway Rd.
Over the past several weeks, investigators had been monitoring activity at the massage parlors after receiving reports of a high volume of male customers visiting the three locations at all hours of the day and night.
Deputies also received complaints of alleged prostitution occurring at the massage parlors by female masseuses, officials said.
Investigators began looking into the allegations of prostitution and on Friday, officials raided the businesses. During the raid, officials questioned five men visiting the parlors and then released them.
Six women working at the three locations were arrested for suspicion of unlawful touching and other Poway Municipal Code violations, deputies said.
The suspects include Silky Massage employees Huiyan Fan, 39, of Monterey Park, Calif., and Tian Tian Jobe, 32, of San Gabriel, Calif. Hai Tee Acupuncture-Massage employees Yun Xian Chen, 56, of Monterey Park, Calif. and San Diegan Qing Hui Zhang, 39, were also arrested.
Additionally, Healing Touch employees and Oceanside residents Hang Yin Chui Russell, 50, and Yishuang Cheng, 47, were taken into custody.
Officials said Cheng was cited for prostitution solicitation.
All six women were later released from the Poway Sheriff’s Station on their written promise to appear in court for their violations.
On Saturday night, other business owners and workers in the area told NBC 7 they had noticed somewhat suspicious activity at the massage parlors.
Laura DiDonato owns a dance studio next door to Hai Tee Acupuncture-Massage and said strange things would happen at the parlor late at night.
“I’d never see any women go in and out – mostly all gentlemen,” she said. “I would see a van pull up and then different people going in and out with luggage.”
Over at the Silky Massage things also didn’t seem quite right, according to Dale Quezada, who owns a business in the same shopping center.
Quezada told NBC 7 he would often see Silky Massage customers parking their vehicles a ways away from the parlor.
“We would always joke that no one ever wants to park in front [of the parlor], so they park over on our side of the parking lot,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the Healing Touch massage, signs outside the business are confusing. A large sign advertising “cell phones & pagers” is much more visible than a small sign soliciting massages.
Blake Bickham, who works at a family business nearby, told NBC 7 she was under the impression that the business only sold cell phones.
“It was really weird because they were just never open, but were always in business. They were always advertising for new cell phones and the windows and stuff were blacked out, so you couldn’t really see inside,” said Bickham.