STATESVILLE, N.C. - Neighbors in a south Statesville neighborhood are fed up with criminal activity outside their doors and many are taking a stand.
"You've got a lot of drug activity, prostitution and it's just not good for the kids, it's not good for the elderly people who built up this community,” Donna McAdams said.
Statesville Police and the Iredell County Sheriff's Office set up a sting operation last Friday and arrested four people in the area of Wilson Lee Boulevard and West Raleigh Avenue. They're all charged with prostitution and three are also facing drug charges.
"It's like really a big issue over here on the Southside period. Like you can just walk down the road and see prostitutes or see crackheads walking around it's really a big issue,” another woman who didn’t want to be identified told FOX 46.
Neighbors who live in the area say the suspects are part of a problem they’re fed up with.
"Because they have to be out of the shelter at like 6:00 in the morning. They don't have nowhere to go, they don't have nothing to do so of course they're going to be trying to panhandle and prostitute to get money.”
Statesville police say neighbors complained so they took action, stepping up patrols in the area.
"They're driving around at night just really being on the lookout for suspicious activity,” said McAdams.
FOX 46 was told that some of the prostitutes will solicit customers right in front of children.
"It can be one on this corner one on the other corner but they're all on the lookout, they all have each other's back. They have a routine and it's never the same day of the week,” McAdams said.
Many don't even allow their kids to play outside.
"They rarely come outside, rarely come outside. Period,” even with the park, they never go to the park. I never let them go down there,” the unidentified woman said.
Neighbors say over the last month they feel safer with more police patrols in the area.
"We love our community, we love our children and we love our families here and we want to keep this community clean and family oriented,” said McAdams.
While a few were taken off the streets, some say there is more work to be done.
"I just think the city as a whole need to come together because one or two people can't make a change it has to be a group of people that car because if you don't care nothing’s going to change.”
Rashonda Denise McCathery was arrested for solicitation of prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia and received a $3,000 secured bond. Shana Nicole Harmon was arrested for solicitation of prostitution, felony possession of cocaine and simple possession of marijuana and received a $5,000 secured bond.
Tammie Turner Burchfield was arrested for solicitation of prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia and received a $1,500 secured bond. Michael Lamar Morrison was arrested for solicitation of prostitution and received a $1,000 secured bond.
"We look forward to conducting more joint operations with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office to improve the quality of life for the residents of Statesville," police said.