If you're a regular internet user, there's a good chance you're familiar with Pedo Bear, the meme made popular by 4Chan. In case you're not, Pedo Bear is a cartoon drawing of a bear that users post when someone on the internet is being creepy about children.
California's San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department has heard of Pedo Bear, too. Unfortunately, they are mistaken in how they think how Pedo Bear is used. According to a recent report from KSBY TV, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department is warning people that pedophiles are using Pedo Bear as a marker to identify themselves as such. The sheriff's department says that although Pedo Bear's origins can be traced to a Japanese cartoon, he has been adopted as a mascot by pedophiles. The sheriff's department says people should exercise caution if they encounter anyone in a Pedo Bear costume, or with a Pedo Bear car decal.
Though it seems pretty ridiculous that the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department would believe even for a second that pedophiles would adopt a mascot that would make them more visible to anyone, confirmation comes via Gawker that the department seems to be 100 percent sure about the meaning of Pedo Bear. A two-page public safety bulletin compiled by the team in San Luis Obispo claims that Pedo Bear is being used by pedophiles and sexually-preferential offenders "to communicate their interest in young children to eachother."