Halloween Candy Snatchers Beware: Police Ready

by Dustin Alexander-Pérez, "City Desk" Reporter 
Metro News Los Angeles Bureau 

Originally Published Mon., 9 October 2018 at 10:00 p.m PT.
Updated Thur., 31 October 2019 @ 2:40 PM PT
Dustin Alexander-Pérez

FERNDALE/BERKLEY - Halloween is coming up soon and local police recently told the Woodward Talk some tips on how parents and children can have a safe holiday night.

Children and parents always will have their typical Halloween night in residential neighborhoods, said Sgt. Baron Brown, of the Ferndale Police Department, though he’s seen a trend of families going to organized events such as trick-or-treating in the downtown, where businesses give out candy.

“It seems to be a more controlled, safer environment because there’s just more rules and safety requirements … that are set up for the event, but there’s always going to be people that like that traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, and the same old common-sense rules apply,” he said.

Brown said some of those rules include wearing clothing that allows you to see traffic and having a light of some sort attached to your costume so that drivers can see you. He also suggested that parents, instead of watching kids trick-or-treat from their vehicle, walk with them to avoid traffic problems.

“One thing that happens in Ferndale a lot is parents are doing a good job of keeping their eyes on their kids, but they’re doing it from their vehicle, idling down the street, causing significant traffic issues because our side streets are narrow,” he said.

“The more traffic, the more congestion, the more danger it is for kids to be out there darting across the street.” Berkley Public Safety Department Director Matt Koehn added to Brown’s list of tips, including advice that if older kids go out on their own, they should inform their parents of the time they’ll be back.

Kids also shouldn’t go into the homes of people while trick-or-treating, unless it’s a known family friend. “Stay in well-lit areas whenever possible. Most people leave their lights on during Halloween, so that’s a good thing to do.

Do not eat any treats until you get them home and they’re inspected by an adult. You just want to make sure they’re safe,” he said.

Koehn, who’s worked in public safety for more than 30 years, said he hasn’t seen too many bad things from his experiences on Halloween, though one thing people might not know is that people who steal candy from children are committing a crime. “I hate to say it, but I’ve seen teenagers charged with larceny for stealing candy bags,” he said.

The Woodward Talk contributed the content of this article.
Vitaly Van De Sande, 4, hands out candy to passersby at his mom and grandmother's flower shop on 24th Street as the city celebrated Halloween in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, October 31, 2016.
Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The SF Chronicle