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Pedobear Sightings Concern New Mexico Attorney General's Office

Pedobear

First Posted: 11/30/11 04:12 PM ET Updated: 12/01/11 09:11 AM ET

The New Mexico Attorney General's Office is warning parents that an increased sighting of depictions of a cartoon-like bear that is linked to pedophiles could be an indication of increased child sex offender activity in the Albuquerque area.

"Our ICAC unit has received reports that the Pedobear window sticker has been sighted in Albuquerque on at least two vehicles recently," said New Mexico Attorney General Gary King.

The concept of the Pedobear was made popular a couple years ago on the Internet forum 4chan. The bear illustration was a joke aimed at people who were inadvertently creepy about children. The bear, however, has since been embraced by pedophiles, according to the attorney general's office. The Pedobear, they allege, "has a sexual interest in underage girls" and has spread from use among an online subculture to the mainstream.

One particular image depicts a cuddly-looking bear along with the text "Too young to talk, too young to testify," New Mexico Attorney General spokeswoman Lynn Southard told Albuquerque's KOAT-7 News.

Last year flyers circulated of a Pedobear masquerading as a TSA agent, and in May a man dressed as the Internet-based Pedobear was escorted by police from the San Diego Comic Con event, where he had been distributing candy to children.

It is not illegal for people to display the Pedobear image in public. Some people may be displaying them as a joke, but the attorney general's office said they are taking the bear images seriously and are trying to get the word out.

"We are very concerned about the potential link between the Pedobear symbol and pedophiles; we also want to increase public awareness of the potential danger to children, especially young girls," King said.