HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister went door-knocking in the unincorporated parts of his purview Monday, reminding registered sex offenders and predators of the rules around Halloween.
“The lights to be shut off to the house,” said Sheriff Chronister to an offender. “Nothing that would entice a child to come to the house, no handing out candy, no costumes.”
If an offender on probation or parole breaks these rules, it’s an automatic violation and can lead to an arrest.
“As you can imagine, tomorrow will be a busy night for us,” Chronister explained. “It’ll be all hands on deck. We’ll have an increased presence.”
The sheriff said his detectives have been doing compliance checks for the last month of the 1,435 registered offenders in his jurisdiction.
“We all know that universal sign is when the lights are off, it means that, to my resident, it means that I’m not participating in Halloween,” Chronister said. “That means parents shouldn’t allow their children to go to that house.”
Chronister said compliance this year is better than last year.
“The six that weren’t in compliance out of the 1,435 that we’ve conducted over the past 30 days, three have been placed under arrest and we’ve issued warrants on three,” Chronister said.
Last year, the sheriff’s office issued nine arrest warrants, usually when a sex offender isn’t living where they are registered.
“Make sure you know where these registered sex offenders and predators live,” Chronister urged parents. “Educate yourself to make sure that your children are being safeguarded.”
If you’d like to find out where sex offenders and predators are living near your neighborhood, you can visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s database.