Finding un-registered sex offenders

Finding un-registered sex offenders
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Keeping tabs on sex offenders in your community. Authorities have stepped up their efforts over the years.

From technology to better communication, agencies have posted a united front against these criminals.

But what happens when they take off?

Sex offender watch websites are great for showing where a sex offender lives, their picture and their history.

But it's the ones you don't see that you might want to be most alarmed about.

Men like Michael Laucher, Pedro Mendoza and Terry Barnett. They've booked out of dodge and slipped under the radar. It's frustrating to people like Bill Carter. He lives near a number of registered sex offenders in Kennewick.

He said, "The sentences aren't stiff enough. They get back out on the streets and they're doing it again."

Bill says the unaccounted offenders make him the most nervous. Close to 50 ex-cons are out of compliance in both counties. They're failing to register, putting you at risk.

Offenders not accounted for could be hanging around here in neighborhood parks or lurking around neighborhood schools, anywhere they can find their next potential victim.

It's why Kennewick Officer Allan Knox conducts regular patrols to check on the offenders.

He said, "They recognize me on-sight, you know, they know what it's all about."

He goes door to door, checking and re-checking addresses, comparing them to what the courts have.

If they're missing, the process to find them gets started.

Officer Knox said, "If we get a tip that maybe he's fled to another state, why the U.S. Marshal's Service has been a great partner with us and help us track down out of state offenders, and extradite them back."

So far this year, nine offenders have been wrangled in. Going through the system and most likely back to jail on new charges.

Bill says, "There's got to be a common goal between the citizens, the judicial system and law enforcement to where we can all work together to protect ourselves."

There is starting with the offender watch program.

KEPR checked in with Franklin County to find out how many fail to register cases have made it to court.

That information wasn't available at this time.

If you'd like to check for sex offenders in your neighborhood, the links are always on KEPRTV.COM