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Only on 3: Police Conduct Sex Offender Compliance Checks

The Coachella Valley is home to around 500 registered sex offenders.

The job of tracking and monitoring those individuals is left to the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement, or “S.A.F.E.” task force.

One day, 50 officers with the task force conducted a sweep of nearly a hundred known sex offenders in Desert Hot Springs to make sure they’re in compliance with the terms of their parole or probation.

We went out with a team led by Carren Robinson who is a senior investigator with Riverside County’s S.A.F.E. task force.

Our first stop, the home of 52-year-old Randy Williams. His crimes include raping a woman and molesting a child under the age of 14.

While officers keep an eye on the man, the rest of the crew scours the house.

“We’re just looking for anything, any contraband, porn or anything they’re not supposed to have,” said Robinson.

They search everywhere. In the trash, behind furniture, even the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, the parolee sits and waits.

He wears a GPS device on his ankle that constantly tracks his location, and he says these random visits help keep him in-line.

In Riverside County, 95-percent of registered sex offenders are in-compliance.

Such is the case here. Time to move on.

The next visit is a house with 5 parolees, including convicted pedophiles.

Another intense search begins.

?We’re looking for any paraphernalia if it’s related to pornography,? said Robinson. ?Most of them have a no-pornography clause. Not allowed to have any kid?s toys, anything that could lure a child or be used in some deviant manner.?

Then they found someone found something under the bed.

“He has?a teddy bear that’s wrapped in a heart. Like it’s a gift.?

In another room, an investigator runs a software program to do a computer history check to see if that?s against his parole. Then confirmation on that stuffed toy. It means 30-year-old Rene Chavez is in violation of his parole.

“You have a teddy bear in your room,? Robinson tells the man. ?Why do you have that bear in there??

He was taken into custody. The others in the house are found to be in-compliance.

The S.A.F.E. team moves on just up the road to check in on James Limbert.

Investigators say he molested 2 children in Washington State then failed to register as a sex offender when he moved to California.

He claims completing a rehab program has taken away his pedophile urges.

“I’m not going to re-offend,? he said. ?You don’t consider yourself to be the danger you were in the past? No. No.”

But as investigators go through the clutter, their attention is drawn to a stack of videotapes.

?It’s not uncommon. We’ll come into sex offender’s rooms and we’ll see all kinds of videotapes or DVDs that are unmarked. Often, they’ll be labeled differently, they’ll have a commercial name on them. Then we’ll put them in and there will be pornography. And in this case, there’s young women on here. It’s actual pornography and he has a no-pornography clause as a child molester.?

Moments later, he’s officially in custody, and likely headed back to prison.

Policing the some 30,000 registered sex offenders across the Southland is an enormous challenge.

That’s become more clear with one who slipped through the cracks.

John Gardner who was a registered sex offender in Lake Elsinore was arrested 2 months ago, and has pleaded guilty to raping and killing 2 San Diego county teens: 17-year-old Chelsea King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois.

That case sheds light on why experts say the recidivism rate among sex offenders is the highest of any crime.

For the ?S.A.F.E? task force, the day’s work may be done, but their job is never-ending.

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