Tracking sex offenders - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Tracking sex offenders

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Millions of tourists swarm to the sandy beaches of South Carolina on vacation each summer, but while everyone in town may seem like a stranger for four months out of the year, some are more dangerous than others.

"Hello, is anyone there?"  asked Cpl. Dowe Enzor, of the Horry County Police Department, as he knocked on an apartment door in Myrtle Beach.

He isn't looking for clues to crack a case, he is making sure that 650 people who are registered as sex offenders in Horry County are at the places where they are registered as living.

When WMBF News joined Enzor and the Horry County Police Department on a sex offender check, Enzor was lucky most of the time of tracking down the men and women on his list.  Unfortunately, he isn't as lucky with one person - John Martin Mozingo.

Mozingo is just one of 60 people who Horry County officials say are "wanted."  Those with active arrest warrants keep officers like Enzor seeing the end of the tunnel for some offenders, but instead, running into another dead end.

When Enzor went to track down Mozingo at the address listed on his sex offender registry, it wasn't Mozingo who opened the front door.  It was someone who never even heard of the man.

"We have roughly 5 percent of offenders who are non-compliant," said Horry County Sgt. Lori Avant.  "More of those violations occur in the Myrtle Beach area because there are so many weekly rentals."

Avant says that tourists take away pieces of the puzzle in tracking down a sex offender.  It is in the Myrtle Beach area where she says it is the most difficult to keep tabs on sex offenders because the constantly keep moving.

Because of this, local law enforcement often turn to the public for help in keeping track of those who commit such crimes.  Avant says the public's help makes a huge difference because there are more eyes in the community than in local law enforcement.

The best way to keep track of offenders, however, may be closer than you think.  Horry County has an online data bank of all offenders and an email alert system that allows you to be notified when a sex offender moves to your area. 

To sign-up or to see a list of sex offenders in your area, visit www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?agencyid=54080&disc
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