ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Undercover police posing as prostitutes — and as customers — make 18 arrests this week along South Broadway in St. Louis, including one minor.

Police are arresting prostitutes and their customers. Most of the women are homeless or drug addicts.

“Once they’re arrested, they’ll go to jail for a period of time, but then they come back out still addicted, or ready to get addicted again,”┬ásays St. Louis Police Capt. Steven Mueller, “and the first day they’re out, they go back to the old life. We need to find a way to interrupt that cycle.”

Police say they’re getting them connected with social service agencies to try to keep the women out of the prostitution trade.

Related story: Prostitutes in South St. Louis Have Alderwoman Asking Police To Do More

The men arrested this week come from as far away as Kentucky – and from all walks of life, according to police. They’ve had truckers, and even a divinity student.

Police plan to continue the undercover operation.

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