Authorities eye sex offenders during Halloween


State parole officers were out Sunday night enforcing "Operation Boo" to make sure sex offenders were not taking advantage of young trick-or-treaters.

About two dozen agents gathered in a conference room at the parole office in Oakland late Sunday afternoon and received their instructions for what would be a busy night. They planned to go to the homes of convicted child molesters throughout Alameda County.

They wanted to make sure sex offenders were in compliance with the conditions of their parole which for Halloween night specifically, means convicted child molesters cannot leave their homes, their exterior lights must be turned off, there must no Halloween decorations out front, and they cannot answer the door to give out candy.

Convicted child molesters who do not have a home were required to check in at the parole office earlier in the day. They were required to sit in on a treatment and life skills class, and were not allowed to leave until 11 p.m.

"I think we'd be doing an injustice if we didn't do something tonight, as the parole division, because we're charged with supervising the sex offenders" said parole agent John Bent. "They're all in ankle bracelets. We're going to be able to track them all night. But, I think we'd be doing a great disservice to the community if we didn't do this on Halloween."

About 40 sex offenders labeled "transients" showed up at the parole office Sunday. There are about 30 sex offenders in Alameda County that do have homes. Many of them, if not all, were slated to be monitored on Halloween Night.

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