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Don’t be tricked: checking for predators before you treat

NORFOLK, Va. - Kids in costumes will be hitting the streets tonight for Halloween.

But while your usual trick or treat neighborhoods may feel safe, officials say don`t be tricked.

Police are encouraging parents to check for registered sex offenders in their neighborhood.

In Virginia, registered sex offenders who are currently under probation are not allowed to participate in Halloween. That means no decorations, no candy and their porch lights stay off.

However, sex offenders who are not on probation are allowed to participate in Halloween. That is why police are encouraging parents to check the Virginia State Police website to see if there are any local offenders in your neighborhood.

“I would check even if it`s not Halloween,” said Sgt. Meryah Breeden, with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office. “Those kinds of things you should know. You should know who your neighbors are; you should know the areas that you live in. That is just a safe tip for year-round.”

Some parents are choosing to forgo the neighborhoods, like Norfolk resident Laurie de Grand, and trunk or treat at schools or churches instead.

“Our church has trick or treat, and her preschool had trick or treat just now in the middle of the day, so even if we go to one house tonight, we’re done and they’ve already had a good experience,” said de Grand.

To check for registered sex offenders in your area, click on this link.