Police urge parents to check sex offender registry before trick-or-treating

Deputy Hector Valdes is going house to house to check up on registered sex offenders. He's making sure the registered sex offenders on his list are staying where they say they're staying.

"I probably checked on 43, 44. I don't have many left right now. I'm sitting on six right now," Valdes said. 

For the past week, the sheriff's office has been checking all 883 registered sex offenders living within Mecklenburg County in preparation for Halloween.

Valdes said he knows most of the people living in his area.

"I see them out cutting grass or working on their car, so I know they stay there. But if I don't know the guy, I’ll ask, 'where's your toothbrush' or 'where are your shoes'," Valdes said. 

To find out if registered sex offenders live in your area, you can download the North Carolina sex offender registry app, CLICK HERE.

FOX 46 Charlotte tried it out in Ballantyne Village. We found 41 registered sex offenders living within a five mile radius and that surprised some parents.

"I wouldn't mind checking it in my neighborhood and see if there is anyone there listed," Jody Pedersen said, who has two small children.

"Disappointed, saddened by it, but we live in a world where a lot of people do a lot of bad things," Carl Mackey said, who has two teenage boys.

To try and protect their children this Halloween, they're putting safety first.

"We always stay together in a group. There are several of us who are together and go around our block," Pedersen said. 

"We've talked to our kids over the years what safety looks like and we trust those conversations mean something on a night like tonight," Mackey explained.