Some cities ban teens from trick-or-treating

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If these teens were in Belleville, Ill., this photo would be proof that they had broken the law.

How old is too old to go trick-or-treating? This Halloween, some cities are trying to answer the age-old question.

In the form of legislation.

The 35,000-person city of Belleville Ill., near St. Louis, prohibits trick-or-treating for high school-aged teens. This was after a push from the city’s mayor, Mark Eckert, who said single mothers and senior citizens were complaining about kids taller than them showing up to their homes in costume.

“When I was a kid, my father said to me, ‘You’re too damn big to be going trick-or-treating. You’re done,’” Eckert said. “When that doesn’t happen, then that’s reason for the city governments to intervene.”

The cities of Meridian, Miss., Bishopville, S.C., and Boonsboro, Md., limit trick-or-treating to children age 12 or younger. Several cities in Virginia have had similar laws for close to 40 years.

So what are some of the penalties youngsters can receive for trick-or-treating in spite of an age limit?

In some cities, offenders can go to jail or be fined up to $100. That said, none of the cities contacted by the Associated Press said they can recall ever issuing anything but a warning to a costumed teen roaming the streets — at least not on Halloween.

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