California to round up transient sex offenders for Halloween night

Operation Boo aims to make sure homeless sex offenders are off the streets on Halloween night. (AP file photo)Operation Boo aims to make sure homeless sex offenders are off the streets on Halloween night. (AP file photo)

A holiday centered on children going door to door and panhandling for candy in the dark could spell temptation for homeless sex offenders.

However, officers from California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have on their superhero costumes. They will be rounding up about 500 transient paroled sex offenders, including about 40 in San Francisco, to spend 5 to 10 p.m. on Halloween evening in a designated location.

“We put these parameters in place so children have a safe experience trick-or-treating,” said Fred Bridgewater, a corrections spokesman. He declined to identify the location of the roundup center.

Twenty-one law enforcement officers will be working Operation Boo in the Peninsula, including 16 officers in San Francisco, Bridgewater said.

Jessica’s Law, which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks, has resulted in a huge increase in sex-offender homelessness. Since the law took effect, the number has increased from about 88 in 2007 to about 2,000 currently, according to The Associated Press.

Bridgewater said he does not anticipate difficulty getting transient sex offenders to show up to the roundup center — all registered sex offenders in the state are monitored by GPS tracking devices.

As part of the department’s 18th annual program, officers also will visit the residences of paroled sex offenders. By law, sex offenders with homes must stay inside their houses with the outdoor lights off on Halloween. They are prohibited from giving out candy to trick-or-treaters and from displaying Halloween decorations.

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also is calling on parents to be more vigilant this Halloween. The agency put together an online guide for parents, available at

CaliforniaCalifornia NewsCrimeLocalSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Advocates call for permanent moratorium on ‘poverty tows’

Ron Trathen hates change. He recalls moving around a lot as a… Continue reading

Music venue owners warn ‘hospitality and entertainment are dying’

Industry leaders plead with city, state for help

Anti-police protester sues over arrest at 2019 Pride Parade

A protester whose arrest at San Francisco’s 2019 Pride Parade intensified pressure… Continue reading

Veritas offers to forgive unpaid rent, but tenants are wary

Calls for rent forgiveness have been answered, but with some caveats. The… Continue reading

Most Read