2 arrested after San Mateo police raid brothel in quiet neighborhood

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- Police have busted what they say was a brothel operating in a quiet residential neighborhood in San Mateo.

ABC7 News knew about the alleged brothel for some time, but held the story due to the ongoing investigation.

EXCLUSIVE: San Mateo cops bust brothel operating across from school

During the night time raid, two people were arrested inside the house on the 400 block of 20th Avenue, just across the street from Serra High School.

One was charged with operating a house of ill fame, a legal term for a brothel. The other for narcotics possession. No women were in the house at the time. Police say their photos and the address were posted in online ads.

"There's no family photos. There's no clothing belonging to anybody. There's just a couple of mattresses on the ground and there's evidence consistent with prostitution: condoms, lubricants, lingerie, things like that," said San Mateo police Officer Nick Morsilli.

Undercover police had been watching the house for weeks before the raid. They had been tipped that something suspicious was happening inside.

That's when ABC7 News first learned about the possibility that the rented house was a brothel. Neighbors also said they were aware of the suspicious activity.

A red light shined inside the window when there were people inside, presumably to alert Johns that the house was operating. On those nights, cars would bring young women inside the home. Men would come and go throughout the evening. Neighbors say as many as 15 on any given night.

"Obviously something wasn't right. Cars would come and they would be texting. They'd move down the street, they'd be texting. They park around the corner and then foot traffic coming in," said neighbor Sue Loeffler.

Police say this is the new motive for brothel operators, renting places in nice neighborhoods.

"We do see a trend. A lot of times they are in apartment complexes. We do occasionally see residential brothels," said San Mateo police spokesperson Amanda Von Glahn.

Like this one police say was shut down because neighbors decided, not in our backyard, and certainly not next to a school.
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