Vandalia sex offenders charged for alleged Halloween violations
VANDALIA - Audrain County prosecutors charged two registered sex offenders Monday after Vandalia police allege they committed Halloween conduct restriction violations.
In a probable cause statement, Vandalia police officer William Jones said one sex offender, Garnet Rae Bealmear (pictured left), posted a sign at the front door of her 702 S. Main St. home that said "Tricker R Treaters To The Back Door."
KOMU 8 News spoke to some neighbors Monday, and they said the neighborhood was completely calm following the incidents.
Jones said he and another officer proceeded to the back door and saw Bealmear putting candy into the bag of a young girl in a Halloween costume. Bealmear told police she was "giving candy to [her] niece."
Officers then arrested Bealmear for Halloween Restrictions on Conduct, handcuffed her and removed the sign from her door, collecting it as evidence.
After interviewing her, Jones said Bealmear told him she was not the only person living in the house and she "wanted them to have fun on Halloween."
Bealmear allegedly told police she did this every year and would leave the residence while others handed out candy.
Jones also made contact with sex offender Rochella R. Bland (pictured right) earlier that night.
In Bland's probable cause statement, Jones alleged that Bland placed a lighted decorative pumpkin outside of her apartment at 614 N. Lindell St.
Jones said Bland also failed to post a sign notifying trick-or-treaters stating "No candy or treats at this residence." Bland told Jones she was not aware she had to post a sign since she was no longer on parole.
Jones said he told Bland that this was incorrect and arrested her.
Missouri law states:
(1) Avoid all Halloween-related contact with children;
(2) Remain inside his or her residence between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies;
(3) Post a sign at his or her residence stating, "No candy or treats at this residence"; and
(4) Leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5 p.m.
Prosecutors said both Bealmear and Bland bonded out of the Audrain County Jail.
(Editor's Note: This story has been updated with the latest information.)