Crime & Safety in Kern City>Question Details

Jill, Home Buyer in Tehachapi, CA

How often is the Megan's List of sex offenders updated?

Asked by Jill, Tehachapi, CA Mon Oct 15, 2007

My family is considering purchasing a home, the Megan's List of sex offenders says that there may be four registered offenders living within one mile of this property. The site says that the persons may have relocated. How much should this information influence whether we purchase the home or not? Also, does anyone know how to verify whether the persons listed have indeed moved?

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How much should this information influence whether we purchase the home or not?

- Only you can determine that. My thoughts are:

There can be a considerable qualitative difference between the severity of a registered offender crime.

For example: 1st dude takes a job as clerk in an adult book store, maybe to help him pay his way through college, dude gets busted for selling obscene material, has to register.. -- bummer

2nd dude has weak bladder, he's gotta go, he's gotta go. ... dude pulls to side of road goes to nearest bush ... and CHP shows up .. boom ... indecent exposure offender. he has to register. - bummer

3rd dude buys used computer, it keeps crashing, he brings it in to Frys to fix, the tech finds nasty filth on the hard drive reports dude #3 - he has to register - bummer.

4th dude stalks playgrounds, cruises street seeking a potential kidnap victim, dude has rope, duct tape, knives, knock out drugs in his van. Cops investigates his suspicious behavior. They can't find any victims, except dude #4 has stash of prorn and a diy cage in his basement.
Prosecutors bring what charges they can against dude #4, but with no victim can only convict this guy on the same charge they nailed #3 on. Due to good lawyer #4 doesn't even spend as much time as innocent #3 did. Fortunately #4 does have to register.

My conclusion: Megan's List has some dangerous people on it. some are more dangerous than others. How can anyone know?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
Hi Jill. I would want to know about sex offenders in the neighborhood whether or not I have children. I would want to know how long ago they were convicted and what it was for. Even if you are not concerned for your own family's safety, chances are that future buyers may not want to buy when you put your property up for sale. I know an agent who had a house listed and the buyers cancelled the contract when they found out that a registered sex offender lived nearby.
Registered sex offenders are supposed to notify the law enforcement any time they move, but many times they don't. That's probably why the website says that they may have relocated. The website is only as accurate as the registry that feeds the information to the site.
The only way you can find out whether they still live there is by asking neighbors whether the person still lives there. I don't know if the local police or sheriff's department could assist you with that.

One more thing. While you can check if a registered sex offender now lives in your neighborhood, you can't be certain that new ones don't move into the neighborhood after you have purchased. There's only so much you can do to protect yourself. Best of luck.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
Hi Jill,
You have been given good advice. The sites, regardless of attempts, cannot be guaranteed accurate. Some offenders do not register, or move and do not update. Use any sites as a guide only, but do not assume that you have obtained 100% complete and accurate data.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Hi Jill,
over the years in dealing with Megan's Law disclosure requirements, I have found that many cities post this information on their City websites under the Police Department section. Bakersfield also posts "high risk sex offenders" which should weed out Jim's first 3 examples and concentrate on example #4. Here is the link:

You can also view bios and analyze of of the offenses these people have made and cross reference the last from the state site you accessed. I agree with Jim in that many registered offenders on the Megan's Law site haven't been involved in lewd acts. Also many of the criminals who have been involved in heinous acts may not even be registered.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Hi, the sheriff's office can best answer that question. I understand from people in law enforcement that the biggest problem with the database is that offenders fail to either register the first time or put in change forms when they move. Often, the address may be a relative's home, as when someone is released from jail they need to show they'll be moving somewhere away from other bad influences or temptation (e.g. too close to schools).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007
You will need to contact the registering office (usually parole board) to determine the information's accuracy. Here is another link you might want to check on
Locating Sex offenders and other felons living in your area
As a parent my self it would influence me, but I can not answer for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007
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