PLACENTIA — Sid Landau, a convicted child molester and the first target in Southern California of the state's "Megan's Law," was taken into custody Wednesday after parole officers read a newspaper account saying he possessed something that looked like razor.
Landau, convicted twice for molesting boys, is prohibited by the conditions of his parole from possessing weapons. He was released later in the day after a search of his home revealed nothing.
"His house was searched, he was searched, and they didn't find anything like a straight razor," said Lynda Ward, deputy regional administrator for the state parole office.
Landau, 57, became the first person in Southern California targeted by Megan's Law, a statute passed last year that allows police to notify residents when a convicted sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
When Landau moved to Placentia in December, police passed out fliers bearing his name, picture and address. Neighbors picketed his home, and last week he was fired from his job as a thrift store clerk.
Probation officers decided to act after they read a story by columnist Robin Abcarian in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times. Abcarian wrote that when she approached Landau's home, he was trimming his fingernails "with what appeared to be a small straight-edged razor."
Corrine Loomis, an investigator for the Placentia Police Department, said people who read the article called authorities to complain. Landau also called, Loomis said.
"He asked me: 'Why would I stand outside in front of my house with a weapon?' " Loomis said.