STOCKTON, CA - Stockton's disturbing crime rate has set homicide records for two straight years. On October 31, many parents grappled with a decision, what to do about Halloween?
In Stockton, the violent crime rate is making residents squeamish.
"There's been a lot of people that have had break-ins where the people have come to front door and pushed the door open and over power the person and then robbed them," parent Anne Smith said.
She ultimately let her children trick-or-treat in their neighborhood, but only going to homes they knew and felt comfortable with.
A few people are leery about opening their doors on Halloween night.
"Sometimes their costumes are as little as jeans and hoodie, which in the past was kind of funny. This year its not funny," said father Richard Smith, who cited concerns about more break-ins.
"It makes me sad. This is the first year I'm not giving out candy," Julie Limbaugh said. "But I'm not taking the chance. The big kids come around in masks. I don't know who they are."
In Westin Ranch, parents took their young ones out for some family fun as Guardian Angels, like Brian Timgle, walked the neighborhood offering extra eyes and ears.
"Keeping watch, making sure that nothing happens if we hear of anything," Timgle said.
Wednesday night, Caroline Rogers almost became a victim of theft.
"Somebody tried breaking into our door to our van and tried to open the sliding door first," Rogers said.
She said she and her family didn't feel safe about going anywhere on Halloween night.
"We weren't going door-to-door because it was not safe," Rogers said. "I knew something was going to happen tonight."
Rogers and her family went to Halloween church activities the night before Halloween at University of Pacific.
"The church had a activity last night where they had trick-or-treat so it was a a safe place," Rogers said.
Other churches around Stockton, like First Baptist Church on El Dorado, offered similar safe family fun on Halloween night.
Meanwhile, the Stockton Police Department brought in 30 extra officers to help with patrols on Halloween night. Fortunately, they didn't have any serious calls.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org