LANCASTER – Teams of parole agents fanned out across the Antelope Valley Thursday night as part of Operation Boo, a safety initiative aimed at protecting young trick-or-treaters from sexual predators on Halloween.
During the operation, which lasted from 6 p.m. to around 10 p.m., parole agents checked on paroled sex offenders in Palmdale, Lancaster Pearblossom, Littlerock and Lake Los Angeles to ensure the parolees were complying with special conditions imposed for Halloween, according to California State Adult Parole Operations Supervisor Larry Dorsey.
Special conditions included a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew during which parolees had to turn off exterior lights, remain indoors and respond only to law enforcement, as well as bans on Halloween decorations and distributing candy.
“Basically they can’t have anything that would possibly lure trick-or-treaters to their residence,” Dorsey said.
Local parole agents targeted 62 local sex offenders Thursday night, and only one parolee was not complying with the special conditions. Agents said they found alcohol in the Sierra Highway motel room of paroled sex offender Simon Soto.
“He had a bag of alcohol hidden on the exterior of his bathroom… it was hanging like a hook, but on the outside,” Dorsey said. “In other words, he was trying to hide it from us.”
“Use of alcohol” was a violation of Soto’s parole, Dorsey said. The 33-year-old parolee was advised of the violation Thursday night, but actually arrested Friday morning.
Countywide Halloween operation reveals guns, knives, porn…
Eight registered sex offenders were arrested Thursday night and weapons and pornography were seized in a County-wide special operation conducted by Los Angeles County Probation’s Special Enforcement unit.
Officers searched 54 locations throughout Los Angeles County and seized computers, a rifle, .380 caliber hand gun, mini-I-pad, I-phone and pornography, all of which are violations of the conditions of probation for the registered sex offenders. In at least two locations, young children were found in the same residence as the offender. The Department of Children and Family Services was also on the operation and is conducting an investigation.
There are currently more than 11,000 registered sex offenders residing in LA County. Officials have updated the information on child predators and how parents can protect their children. Read the latest tip sheet here.
To find the list of registered sex offenders in your area, visit California’s Megan’s Law website here.