PHOENIX - On Halloween night, there are scarier things than ghosts and vampires walking the streets; sexual predators and convicted child molesters are around.
With so many vulnerable children out, Valley law enforcement stepped up their patrols for the costume and candy evening.
ABC15 rode with the U.S. Marshals as they checked on known sex offenders.
With a long list of names and addresses, probation officers and Marshals made surprise visits to about 130 of the Valley's most dangerous sex offenders.
Marshals say they arrested one offender for violating the terms of his probation.
"There are offenders that would take an opportunity for an evening like this where there are children on the street, there are offenders out there that may pose a risk,” U.S. Marshal Senior Inspector Chris Kruse said. “We want to make sure we're mitigating that risk."
On Halloween, there are strict set of guidelines the offenders must obey. They must have their front house lights turned off. Their doors must be shut, and if someone comes to their door, even if it is not a child, the offender cannot answer it.
During their compliance checks, officers approach sex offenders’ homes and knock on their doors. If the convicted offender plays by the rules, he won't answer until the officers call them and tell them it’s alright to open up.
The Marshals and officers made stops all across the Valley, even searching for offenders at a homeless camp.
Homeless sex offenders carry their own problems.
"If they're transient, they tend to fall through the cracks a little bit," Kruse said.
The officers are armed because they never know what to expect, but on this Halloween everything went smoothly.
"Ultimately, if these checks prevent one child from being injured, or harmed, or abducted, or anything, then it's well worth it," Kruse said.
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