Authorities check on sex offenders on Halloween

CHULA VISTA, Calif – On Halloween night, a county-wide crackdown sent some parolees breaking the rules back to jail.

“Operation Boo is what we do every year to keep our community and our children safe,” said supervising parole agent Jackie Rivera, who operates out of Chula Vista. “We go out and do compliance checks on registered sex offenders on parole.”

FOX 5 was with one unit as they went door to door in areas of South San Diego, San Diego proper and La Mesa.

One man, who was taken into custody at a motel in La Mesa, was a convicted sex offender who was not only caught violating rules, but he also had contraband.

“We got a mask, any sexual deviant toys. We had an adult toy. They’re not supposed to be having that as well,” said parole officer Thomas Alhambra.

Rivera said her GPS unit oversees about 250 parolees, all convicted sex-offenders.  It’s called GPS since all the parolees wear GPS monitors and they are tracked every hour of every day.

Operation Boo has been conducted every year for the past 24 years.  The parolees must follow clear rules on Halloween night. There is a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew during which parolees must remain indoors. All exterior lights of their homes must be turned off so that it looks as if no one is home and it discourages children from approaching. No offering of candy and no decorations or costumes allowed. During the curfew, parolees can only open the door or respond to law enforcement.

“We ensure that these guys are not out giving out candy and harassing kids,” said Rivera.

For the most part, parolees know and follow the rules, Rivera said.  In the case of the man arrested in La Mesa, he was on parole for five years and had only six months left.

“This isn’t his first Halloween being on parole. He should know better, he should know better, there’s no reason,” said Alhambra.

Operation Boo nabbed two parole violators in the county Tuesday night. Statewide, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole agents arrested more than 70 of the 1377 sex-offender parolees.