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CLEVELAND - Police are urging parents to check local sex offender registries ahead of Halloween festivities.
In the state of Ohio, only registered sex offenders still on probation or parole are legally banned from decorating their homes or leaving lights on to invite trick-or-treaters. As such, police are encouraging parents to know their neighbors before allowing their children to go trick-or-treating.
Deputies with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office posted to the agency's Facebook page that it is not easy to spot a sex offender. As such, telling children to stay away from strangers is not enough.
Deputies said most often, sex offenders are not strangers to their victims, but rather family members and close acquaintances. Thus, checking the Wayne County Sex Offender Registry is imperative.
North Ridgeville police also posted a link to the Lorain County Sex Offender Registry on their department's Facebook page .
Currently, 31 registered sex offenders live throughout the city.
Officers encourage residents to protect themselves and their families by taking a look at the list and the offenders' addresses.
Police said residents can also sign up for automatic email alerts whenever a registered sex offender moves within one mile of his or her home.
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