Sex Offender, Sex Predator, How Safe Is a Neighborhood

Updated on May 04, 2011
H.K. asks from Chiefland, FL
21 answers

we are in the process of making a deal on a house. After calling the sherriffs dept., and looking online, i have found there is a young 20 yr old guy 25 ft from the house who is a sex offender. I have searched for WHAT he did to determine how upset i should be and IF i should back out of this house deal because of what i found. The sherriffs dept. did not help at all, they told me to go the the same website i had already been looking at. blah! Also, in 0.6 miles from me there is a sex predator that it says has a temporary house, dont say WHAT he did. I want ALL THE DETAILS. And there is another sex offender the same distance around. The city has 32 that are registered.
I guess i would like what you think about you have any living in your neighborhood. Will i live in constant fear if we buy this house in this neigborhood (its actually a very nice and well kept area, would not think any bad happens there, but who knows)
thanks for anyone that can just honestly help me on this issue

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answers from Cleveland on

They are everywhere! I live in a pretty good area, but we still have a lot of them. You could be living next door to someone that just hasn't been caught yet..scary thought, I know, so don't let that stop you from buying a house.That watch dog website might give you a little more detail. One of my neighbors was a teacher that was having a relationship with a 16 year old student and it says under his name on that website (relationship) next to the offense. The lingo they have is very confusing, they should really give out more information then they do. Maybe try to google some of the sex offenders names to see if you can get more information about the crimes.

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answers from Dallas on

Its not the ones who are registered that I would worry about...its all the ones who haven't been caught yet. At least you know to keep an eye on the ones who are registered.

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answers from Saginaw on

Sex offenders are everywhere, most every city has around 10 if you don't want one around you you have to live somewhere where the closest house or apt is miles and miles away. I wouldn't be worried about the registered ones. I would be worried about the ones running around that we don't know about or have not cought! And well there is no way to tell if your neighborhood has them. Just because there are a bunch of registered ones doesn't mean there are many running around loose!

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answers from Las Vegas on

sadly, we too have MANY in our nearby neighborhood and worse, they are close to schools/park. which as I understand it, they are NOT suppose to be......

now, I don't live in fear perse, but I am CAUTIOUS..... thing is.. bad things can happen anywhere and in seemingly good neighborhood. for all the sex offenders that are listed, think of how many are not.. not to scare you, but rather to help you make more sense of the craziness that goes on in our society. also, a sex predator can be your close neighbor, car attendant, bus driver.. etc etc..
I used to lived in the Bay Area suburbs and guess who was the molester there.............. my foster father... you'd think someone like that would know better. instead, social services was just bringing him fresh meat.. now that guy was NEVER registered but should be.. point is ... be weary... keep on your toes.. try your best to teach your kids about staying away from strangers and good touch, bad touch type of things... I am VERY open my with child about "weirdos" and have told him point blank.. if anyone every touches you, LET ME KNOW.. I tell him ,not to scare him, but I NEED to know what goes on and I guess I just feel honestly is the best of dealing with that.

I wish you the best

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answers from Provo on

They are everywhere. You can't really escape them. It's good that you know that they are right there, but you can't let them rule your life.
I have found a lot of the times when the predator is a young one it's because they were dating and having sex with their minor gf. This isn't always the case, of course.
In my own life it turns out there was a sex offender at my work who also lived 1/2 a mile away. There were always the owners kids around and he kept to himself. I second the other post that said that you need to worry about the unregistered ones.
Don't let them rule where you live. Make sure you keep an eye on your children and live your life.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We have none registered in our area as far as I know (and according to registries) so there are areas where there aren't any "known" offenders, but keep in mind, in order to get registered, these people have to have been "caught" offending many times.

With that said, there are no guarantees that any neighborhood is safe. You could have a freak next door right now, or the next time you have a repair guy stop by to fix something, invite one right into your home.

This isn't to say offender registries aren't important or helpful. They are very important and helpful! It is far better to know who is living near you and your children than not, and the registry can lessen the chances that someone in your neighborhood will be victimized because everyone will know he is there. Hopefully she/he'll think twice too. But once again, there are no guarantees. Registries are just a help to keep you aware and informed. And police will know where to look if anything does happen like a child goes missing or someone is attacked.

You may be able to find out what these guys did if you go to your local Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. I'm not sure if that's what all states call it, but generally, all criminal records are public information. If you have these guys full name, date of birth, you should be able to go to the state data base, or at the very least your county courthouse and run a background check on these guys and get the full run-down.

Another place to look is metro and neighborhood news paper archives. While their crimes may not have occured in your state/area, you might still find something from when it was announced to the neighborhood the offender was moving in. Usually, residents are informed when an offender will be moving in and sometimes there will be neighborhood meetings or hearings. That information should be on record somewhere also. City Hall might be a good place to check. At the very least, the local neighborhood association will definitely know everything. If you can find the contact for that, you'll probably get all you need to know from them. The community news paper is probably a good way to get the neighborhood association's phone numbers.

Lastly, is it a good idea to buy a home in a neighborhood where there is a listed offender? JMO, I'd say no way! Not only are you being warned someone known to be unsafe and untrustworthy will be living next to you and you have the spend the rest of your days on hyper-vigilence. Will you ever feel comfortable sitting in your yard, or letting your child ride their bike or walk to a friends house? Who needs that stress? Furthermore, offenders are often clustered in areas where the housing is affordable, but then you have to ask why is it more affordable? Why are they clustered there? Is it because of a high crime rate, because of a lack of neighborhood involvement, etc? I think it can you alot about where you're moving.

If you look at state registries, you'll see the patterns. They're not supposed to do that, but that seems to be what happens. Besides safety, I'd be considering house value/devaluation if I ever wanted or needed to move, what this says about the neighborhood culture in general, etc.

I hate to generalize, but unfortunately, this sort of thing can definitely affect the culture of a neighborhood. Especially if the community isn't a strong one that sticks together. Do more research or look elsewhere I say.

To be honest, I think if you always exercise caution and stress safety to your kids, that's the best protection. As for buying a house there, if you could live elsewhere, it would probably be better...but for other obvious reasons.

Just some food for thought.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Good luck finding a community with zero offenders. They are registered. That's enough info for you to go on. These people DO have some confidentiality rights, after all. They need to register every year, I believe, so the info is current. Read: Bad, Keep away, etc.
The "exact" crime doesn't really matter does it, in the grand scheme of safety and vigilance?

And FYI--sexual offenders don't just prey and live in "bad" areas. This crime cuts across all racial, economic and societal lines. Don't fool yourself!

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answers from Redding on

They can be in almost any neighborhood. I was under the impression they can't live within a certain distance of a school. So maybe buy a house next to a school! (j/k slightly).. And, how do you feel about going to the house and just introducing yourself and saying you found out this person has a record and just ask what the offense was so you know if it's wise to become the neighbor. As others have said, it may be a young kid who had sex with a teenage girl friend and the parents had him arrested. I'd rather live next door to him than some 50 yr old guy who preys on young boys and molests them.

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answers from Phoenix on

There are only 32 in your whole city? Consider yourself lucky. I live in a big metropolitan area & there are definitely more than that.

The truth of the matter is that predators are all around - at least the registry allows you to know who the really bad ones are. Personally, I'm more worried about the ones who are operating under the radar.

I wouldn't let it stop me from buying a house I loved, personally. Especially because it will probably be hard to find a home without a sex offender at least in the vicinity.

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answers from Chicago on

Unfortunately there are sex offenders in every neighborhood. Even where I live there are multiple people within a 5 mile radius. All you can do is be vigilent about your surroundings and be observant. Watch your kids closely and relax. I have no doubt 20 years ago we were surrounded by these criminals but the lack of internet kept us in the dark.

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answers from St. Louis on

I just checked out that website for hits around me. None in my neighborhood but one a neighborhood over. So then I clicked on the conviction, yeah, even knowing what it is called doesn't help, at least in my case.

I would think a 20 year old would have been caught in daddy found out he was boinking his 17 year old daughter after he turned 18 but then nothing surprises me anymore.

Even if I found out my next door neighbor was a registered sex offender I don't think it would bother me. My kids just don't make good prey. To me that is the only foolproof way to protect your kids.

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answers from Phoenix on

If the offense happened at that address, its public record and you can request copies of ALL police reports for that address and pick them up from the police dept. That may at least give you an idea of whats going on in the house. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

Have you tried looking at That is what I use. It may give you information. Some states also have their own site with more detailed information. You should absolutely be able to see his picture. It freaks me out that they can just move into a family neighborhood near schools, so being informed is your best defense!

Just remember, they are all over. I used to live in a very affluent area in AZ and we received a notice from the school about a dad who always volunteered (and had a background check) being arrested for child molestation!!! It freaked me out!!!

Good luck!


answers from St. Louis on

Try the link Rachel K. gave. I have used it several times and it usually says what the crime was.


answers from Modesto on

did you try
I'd say all neighborhoods are going to have at least one listed... you cant be afraid of the world.
I manage an apartment complex and you would not believe how many Megans Law list men try to apply here..... they are bold.
Just remember that most molestors are family, not strangers.


answers from Chicago on

I think it is better that you KNOW about them already and there are pictures on the FamilyWatchDog site. I am assuming that is the site the police turned you to. If the case isn't sealed, you may be able to find out what he was charged with by talking to someone at the county court (criminal division if they are divided) and asking how you can have someone's case pulled and copied. There will likely be a cost associated. 25 FEET is DARN close to the house though....that would worry me. That is pretty much next door! We cannot get away from sex offenders out here in the Chicago area -- they are ALL OVER THE FLIPPIN PLACE! The closer we are to mass transit (which of course you WANT to be when living in the suburbs to make commuting easier) the more of them there are. I did the same kind of search when buying a house and actually decided not to bid on one because it was located near apartment buildings that had 2 sex offenders. I understand where you are coming from.



answers from Charlotte on

Hopie, just go find another neighborhood. This is bad news...



answers from Los Angeles on

We don't have any registered in our area. We live with a school at teh end of the street and according to law if they are registered it can't be near school. There are currently 63 registered for my town (not including surrounding towns).'s my personal opinions about it....just because you see 63 names, or however many in your neighborhood....doesn't mean there are more who just haven't been caught and found guilty. Who knows? Your next door neighbor could be a child molestor and you might never know.
With all that being said I just watch out for my kid...there's no 100% way of knowing who exactly is in your neighborhood.
Good Luck!


answers from Chicago on

They are everywhere! I don't think you can find an area anywhere that is completely free of them. It's scary. There are a couple in our vicinity. I feel like I can't let my kids play outside other than in our fenced-in backyard. And even then, I'm always checking on them and reminding them that if a stranger approaches the fence they are to RUN, not walk, but run into the house. Gone are the days when kids can just be free to roam the neighborhood all day.

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