MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Local law enforcement officers are searching for sex offenders days before children head out for Halloween.
FOX 46 went on a ride-along with Deputy Robin Austin with Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. He’s making sure registered sex offenders are following the rules by living at their registered address.
"We're going to the address which is supposedly the subject's residence," said long-time Sheriff’s Deputy Robin Austin.
"Arthur Guerra Ramirez," Deputy Austin called in the sex offender’s name on the radio before he left his patrol car.
"We'll pull the subject's name up in our system and it will give us a picture so we know who we're looking for so we can do a positive identification," said Deputy Austin.
It’s the same information you can find on the Sex Offender database.
The man he was looking for was convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child and listed his address as a motel in University City. No one came to the door, so Deputy Austin tried the front desk. No luck there either.
"Ok. I'll come back. He's not in trouble. I just need to talk to him," Deputy Austin told the clerk.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies in the county started checking the addresses of more than 900 registered sex offenders in mid-October. So far, they have discovered 19 of those offenders have violated the registry by changing their address or phone number without telling the Sheriff's Office.
"I've got a case now where I’ve gone to a house several times. I finally spoke with the subject’s parents. They say they haven't seen the subject in 30 days. The number has changed so we have no way to get in contact with that person. We will go to the D.A. and get a warrant for that person's arrest," said Deputy Austin.
Some registered sex offenders are allowed to keep their porch light on and hand out candy to children for Halloween. It depends on the restrictions of each registered sex offender based on the nature of their crime.
The Sex Offender database app shows a map with registered sex offenders in your area, their names, addresses, and pictures. If you click on “more information” you can find out about their offense(s).