Sex Offenders Register Questionable Addresses

By Katie Hargitt

Published 08/27 2014 03:18PM

Updated 08/27 2014 06:26PM

More than 200 sex offenders have a registered address in Vigo County, but how accurate are those locations?

The Vigo County Sheriff's Department considers five of those 200 sex offenders homeless. When you search the address registry some offenders list their home as a general location where the sheriff's department can find them most of the time.

That's because offenders are required to list some sort of address on the registry even if their homeless.

Part of the problem stems from being kicked out of previous locations such as the Econo-Lodge where more than 12 offenders lived at one time, as well as the Statesmen inn.

The Sheriff's Department says it can be extremely difficult for sex offenders to find a place. There are several rules, including not being able to live within 1,000 feet of any school, daycare or youth center.
"I try to let the public kind of know what area they're in," said Bernie Burns of the Vigo County Sheriff's Department. "If they don't have an actual physical address, sometimes in the past they've stayed at motels and that's legal as long as it doesn't fall within that 1,000 foot rule, but that certainly creates its own set of problems but it's very difficult to track people who don't have a permanent address."

Homeless offenders are required to check in on a weekly basis. Nine offenders have outstanding warrants with the county and some of their whereabouts are unknown.
The sheriff's department has looked at GPS monitoring to solve the problem, but the devices are expensive.

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