Pedobear is a meme featuring a cute cartoon bear who pops up wherever people are being creepy about kids on the Internet. Cops in California don't understand this, and have issued a hilarious warning about Pedobear.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, who can't be bothered to look up Pedobear's extensive Wikipedia entry, issued a very serious warning about Pedobear last week, as seen in the news report above. (Update: See below for the official San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department flyer: 'An Introduction to PEDO BEAR'.) According to KSBY-TV:
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department is warning parents about a disturbing new phenomenon made popular by pedophiles and sexual deviants.
The Pedo Bear began as an online Japanese cartoon character, and is known for his "lecherous nature" towards prepubescent children.
Recently, pedophiles have adopted the bear as a mascot.
Although there have been no reported sightings of the image on the Central Coast, individuals dressed in the bear costume and car decals have been seen in Southern California.The news report includes one of these Southern California "sightings": A guy in a Pedobear costume next to a man holding a baby. The baby's father is just blithely standing next to a dangerous pedophile! Actually, no. That picture was taken at Comic Con. The person inside the costume—and anyone spotted with pedobear paraphernalia—is a nerd who spends too much time on the Internet.
As explained by Urlesque, Pedobear originated on the anarchic messageboard 4chan as an inside joke.
Pedobear is a shorthand for saying, "You're being creepy about a kid." If anyone on 4chan posts a picture of a questionably young looking girl in a sexy pose, someone will inevitably reply with a pic of Pedobear. Many times, Pedobear is added to a picture to point out real-world sexualization of presexual kids, but it's alternately shown as an acknowledgment of being inappropriately attracted to a child.Pedobear went on to become one of the Internet's most popular memes—right up there with lolcats. (He even visited the Pope.)
As much as it would make cops' jobs easier (and, judging from this episode, it needs to be as easy as possible for these idiots to get anything done) pedophiles have not collectively decided to brand themselves with a logo so we can easily identify them. Jesus, cops can be dumb.
Update: Oh, wow. We just got off the phone with the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department. The good news: They apparently do understand Pedobear is an Internet joke. The bad news: They sent us this colorful two-page Public Safety Information Bulletin: "A Seemingly Innocent Menace: An Introduction to PEDO BEAR". It's as good as it sounds. Take a look! (Click to enlarge)