Report of tainted Halloween candy a hoax
● By Steven Hoffman
After a thorough investigation, the Chester County District Attorney's Office and Kennett Square Borough Police Department announced that the report of needles being inserted into Halloween candy and handed out to trick-or-treaters in the Stenning Hills section of Kennett Square was, in fact, a hoax.
The two children who reported the incidents have now recanted their statements and admitted that they put the needles in the candy themselves.
“We are relieved to find out that nobody was trying to hurt kids in Kennett Square,” Police Chief Edward Zunino said in a statement. “We are a safe and vibrant community, and we protect our children.”
According to the Chester County District Attorney's Office, the first report of candy being tampered with came on Nov. 1 from an 11-year-old girl who said that sewing needles had been found in Twix candy bars that she collected while trick-or-treating on Halloween.
However, the investigation revealed that she took several needles from her mother's sewing kit and hid them in the Twix bars. She did this after seeing a photograph of needles in candy shown to her by an adult who was advising her to be safe while trick-or-treating.
A second incident involved a 12-year-old boy who heard the reports about the first incident and imitated what had been reported. He inserted a needle inside a Snickers bar and showed the candy to his older sister, who promptly reported it to police.
Because of the ages of the children involved, and the cooperation that police received from their families, no formal charges will be filed against the children for perpetrating the hoax.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan stated, “Sometimes, proving that a crime did not happen is as important as proving that a crime did happen. In this case, law enforcement treated the initial report seriously, notified the community for the sake of safety, but kept doggedly investigating the matter. As a result of that persistence, we are now able to assure the citizens of Kennett Square that nobody was trying to harm any children by tampering with Halloween candy.”