ESCONDIDO (CNS) - Escondido police arrested 16 juveniles for curfew violations, including two 15-year-old girls who found in the company of a register sex offender, a lieutenant said Saturday.

Two girls out past 11 p.m. were found in a car a 25-year-old registered sex offender in local "hangout area," Escondido police Lt. Chris Carter said.

The man was let go, but the girls were taken into custody as part of a sweep that netted 14 other underage arrests, he said.

Police later released the minors, some as young as 12, to their parents or guardians or took them to juvenile hall, Carter said.

Several of the teens were booked on suspicion of other crimes, including vehicle burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of alcohol, Carter said.

Some of those arrested were referred to a "diversion" program instead of going to court, which includes performing community service and taking anger management and decision-making classes, Carter said.

Escondido police have cited about 80 minors for curfew violations since March.