Sex offenders must keep "lights out" on Halloween

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - As parents are planning costumes for their children this Halloween season, deputies in New Hanover and Pender Counties are making plans for some to avoid the celebration.

"Operation Lights Out" requires registered sex offenders to be home on Halloween night with the lights off.

"We have a team of officers working that night," said Brien Campbell with the office of Parole and Probation.  "They go by each offenders residence and have face to face contact."

Brien Campbell, the Assistant District Manager for Parole and Probation in both Pender and New Hanover Counties, said registered sex offenders aren't allowed to answer the door or participate in trick or treating in any way.

If they break the rules, she says, they will be arrested on the spot.

"Because sex offenders can't have contract with children, but on Halloween night, children are coming to them," Campbell said.  "This is our best way to control that."

Halloween falls on a Sunday night this year, although some municipalities are honoring trick or treating on Saturday night.

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