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ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — State investigators targeted unlicensed contractors in Los Angeles and Orange counties in undercover sting operations conducted this week, officials said Friday.

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KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports investigators with the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) posed as homeowners requesting bids for home improvements to catch suspects offering to do work that requires a state contractor license.

The operation resulted in a total of 78 arrests, including at least one registered sex offender, repeat offenders, people with arrest warrants, revoked licensees, and people who illegally used the license of a legitimate contractor, CSLB spokesman Rick Lopes said.

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In addition to the city of Orange, other Southern California cities involved in the operation included Lawndale and San Bernardino. Sting operations were also conducted in Bakersfield, Chico and Oakdale.

“We had people out here who were child rapists, child traffickers, who were convicted of bribery, some really bad people, and it’s really scary,” Lopes said. “If I’m a homeowner, you don’t know who you’re inviting into your house.”

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Anyone performing construction work in California that totals $500 dollars or more in labor and materials must be licensed by CSLB, according to state law.