Oakdale police host a Halloween do-over
Grateful families, and their candy-hungry kiddies, stopped at the Oakdale Police Department for a Halloween do-over Saturday morning.
After tainted candy with metal pieces in it was turned over to police on Wednesday, some families in the city threw out all of their children’s trick-or-treating haul as a precaution. So the Oakdale police set up Operation Happy Halloween 2.0 to help recoup their losses.
Families dropped by the Oakdale Police Department on North Second Avenue to pick up bags filled with an assortment of sweet treats. Officers, staff and more were on hand to greet the trick-or- treaters. They could also climb inside the department’s armed response vehicle and patrol cars and high-five McGruff the Crime Dog.
Oakdale police Public Information Officer Ja- neen Yates said about five pieces of candy with “metal pieces” inside them were turned over by one family. No one was hurt and no additional tainted candy has been turned over to the department. The investigation into its source is ongoing, Yates said.
The Fabian family had gone trick-or-treating in the Burchell Hill Drive area, where the tampered candy allegedly came from. The next day at school 13-year-old Johanna Fabian heard all kinds of rumors about what was found in the candy, from needles to drugs. She and her 7-year-old sister threw out their candy to be safe.
“I was excited and glad they did this for us,” said Johanna Fabian as she ushered her sister, who wore her Minnie Mouse costume, to the candy table.
Oakdale police Chief Scott Heller said the department purchased more than 200 pounds of candy, to make sure
everyone could get replacement treats. Yates estimated under 100 families participated, but people came in small streams throughout the three-hour morning window. The Burket family brought their two children, Daniel Jr. and Brian, to get candy.
Mother Brittneay Bur- ket said they threw out the boys’ trick-or-treating bounty after hearing about the bad candy.
“We felt bad because they kept asking for their candy,” she said. “So this is really great.”
Rumors about pins, razors and other foreign objects found in Halloween candy have been around for decades. According to the urban legend fact-checking site Snopes.com, some reports about tampering have proved true in largely isolated cased. Most ended up being pranks gone wrong.
In response, some hospitals and police departments around the nation, including in Modesto and Stanislaus County, began offering free X-ray services for Halloween loot.
Oakdale police Chief Scott Heller gives out candy to Willy Martinez, 8, during Operation Happy Halloween 2.0 in Oakdale on Saturday.
Janeen Yates of the Oakdale Police Department high-fives 3-year-old Daniel Burket Jr. during Operation Happy Halloween 2.0, where police gave children candy to replace their candy that might be unsafe to eat.