Sex Offenders Elude Police Tracking

Marion County's police agencies are working to build credibility for the state's sex offender registry.

They want to know where sex offenders live and work, but that task is proving to be difficult, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

Every police officer in Marion County has been assigned one sex offender in an effort to monitor compliance with the law. As police have learned since undertaking this policy, compliance is sorely lacking.

RTV6 rode along Wednesday as north district Officer Andre Bell checked on the whereabouts of a 23-year-old convicted child molestor who was just released from prison.

The man Bell was looking for was not at the address indicated in the registry.

The convicted molestor had just moved into the neighborhood. Next door, there was a yard full of toys. Neighbors expressed concern.

"I don't like it, no," Phyllis Elam exclaimed. "We've got kids here and kids down the street."

Neighbors said as many as 26 registered sex offenders live in or around the Bates Hendricks neighborhood on the south side of Indianapolis.

John Scheibel, who has lived in the neighborhood for 62 years, wants to know who the offenders are and where they live.

"As long as there's observation by the authorities, I'm not concerned with it," Scheibel said. "You can't watch them all the time. That's my concern."

According to police, only half of Marion County's registered sex offenders have complied with the law.

"That's not acceptable," Indianapolis police Sgt. Stan Piatt said. "We need a high compliance rate."

Indianapolis police recently checked a downtown homeless mission that 53 sex offenders had listed as their primary place of residence. Thirty-eight were found not to be living there.

Police said those 38 will be the first targeted for arrest for failing to update their information for the sex offender registry.

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