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SUMMIT COUNTY -- Halloween trick-or-treating can be a scare for parents that is all real.

It's an evening of fun, where breaking the usual rules about talking to strangers -- or taking food or candy from them -- is common.

In your neighborhood, do you know where your kids are safe?
That's what sheriff's deputies in Summit County are trying to ensure.

"Particularly this time of year, with a lot of foot traffic with children, people are out and about trick-or-treating, we just want to make sure everybody's safe and everybody is where they are supposed to be," said inspector Bill Holland.

Sex offenders must register their address, and deputies are making surprise visits to some of nearly 1,000 sex offenders who live in Summit County.

"We're holding them accountable, letting them know that we're out here, keeping an eye," said Holland.

Channel 3's Sara Shookman got toride along and found everyone where they were supposed to be, except one offender, who wasn't home.

One sex offender even agreed to talk to us about this story.

"Actually I have no sympathy for me or the others, the way I see it, if you didn't want to do this, you shouldn't have committed the crime," said Benjamin Brackman.

Before you or your kids alsoknock on these doors, you're encouraged to do your homework.

An app put out by theOhio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forcecalled the"Shaq Shield" finds sex offenders in your area with geolocation.

Moms like Cathy Stoffer say it's information she wants to know before Brandon, 6, puts on his soldier costume.

"You don't know who's next door to you or who's across the street or down the street," said Stoffer. "I check the houses out first. If I feel uncomfortable, I let him go to another house."

Failure to register as a sex offender or falsifying an address can have steep penalties, as great as the original crime for which an offender was convicted.

Suggested websites:

  1. http://www.familywatchdog.us/
  2. http://www.communitynotification.com/cap_main.php?office=55149
  3. http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/registry
  4. http://www.drc.ohio.gov/OffenderSearch/Search.aspx

Suggested Mobile Apps:

  1. http://bit.ly/1h0TFgn
  2. http://bit.ly/19X14Gb
  3. http://bit.ly/1a8rc57

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