Schaumburg Halloween candy tampering a hoax, police say

A 16-year-old Schaumburg boy has been charged with disorderly conduct after police say he faked an incident of candy tampering on Halloween.

Schaumburg Police Chief Brian Howerton said Thursday the reported candy tampering was a hoax and the boy accused of perpetrating it has been released to his parents' custody while his case is pending before a juvenile court.

Detectives determined that the boy himself had inserted a needle into a piece of candy at his home and then reported to his family that he'd received it while trick-or-treating, Howerton said. The boy's father, convinced the tampering was legitimate, contacted police.

Police now believe the boy was attempting to gain the attention of family members.

A second report of candy tampering came in by phone after the boy's father went to the police station. Police Sgt. John Nebl said investigators believe the call was made sincerely by a neighbor, who heard about the initial candy tampering report after the boy's family began spreading word about it.

According to websites like and, true incidents of trick-or-treat candy tampering and other related examples of “Halloween sadism” have been documented and, while rare, are not urban legends as they're sometimes claimed to be.