A 16-year-old girl was rescued from being forced to work as a prostitute on Sepulveda Boulevard and six people were arrested in connection with human trafficking on Friday in Sherman Oaks, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys Vice Unit rescued the girl around 6:15 a.m. when she worked on Sepulveda "against her will," said LAPD Sgt. Martin Baggesgard.
With seizure of “Backpage” we have seen a remarkable increase of human trafficking along Sepulveda. Early this morning your VICE unit rescued a minor who was being sold! A follow up to the 777 Motel led to arrest of the “pimp” and others @lapdVanNuysDiv @911LAPD #LAPD pic.twitter.com/q9LXx4edbc
— Lillian L. Carranza🇺🇸 (@LAPDCARRANZA) June 22, 2018
She was able to identify her pimp and an investigation led authorities to believe they might be able to find the suspect at 777 Motor Inn, 4781 Sepulveda Blvd., Baggesgard said.
After knocking on the door of a room at the motel, three or four men squeezed through a small bathroom window and attempted to escape on foot but were taken into custody, Baggesgard said.
Four men and two women were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, authorities said.
"The investigation is early and we'll know more as we get a chance to interview all the suspects involved," Baggesgard said.
He said it was "very common" to find prostitution along Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.