There are more than 600 sex offenders in the Stateline and chances are, they're no stranger to our neighborhoods. But there are ways to help us find out who is living next door and you might be surprised by what you discover.
It's a quiet Rockford neighborhood, one where kids play outside and residents wave at passers-by. There's a school and a park down the street, but more than a dozen sex offenders call it home as well.
"He's 3 doors down," Mary Jo Powers plugs in her address on mapsexoffenders.com. A blue balloon reveals her home. Red balloons are the sex offenders living in her area - according to the latest state registration information.
"It's disgusting isn't it?"
By clicking on the red dots, Powers finds a picture of the offender, a description of his crime, and a status. A non-compliant status means that person is breaking the law by failing to register with authorities.
"We have somebody non-compliant in the neighborhood and I have nine grandchildren that spend a lot of time here," says Powers.
Actually there are three non-compliant offenders. Joe Luis Perez’s last known address is just a few doors down. He was convicted of sexually abusing a victim under 18. George Maples is a sexual predator, convicted of sexually abusing a victim between the ages of 13 and 16. Jeremy Jason Aldrich is also a sexual predator, his victim was under the age of 18.
"Unless they do something else wrong and they get picked up for something else, then something might happen. Well, in the meantime - kids are at risk. That's the reality - kids are at risk," says Powers.
Power's neighborhood is not unique. There are about 540-sex offenders living in Rockford and Winnebago County. Rockford police estimate 36 are non-compliant. And while they won't disclose their approach to finding these people - county deputies will.
"We have officers that check on compliance - make sure they're living where they say they are - that their employment is current and if there's any violation of that we take enforcement action," says Deputy Chief Kurt Ditzler of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.
County squad cars are equipped with special computers that map out sex offenders and let officers know when they're due to register.
But power is keeping tabs of her own, arming herself with knowledge, finding out who her neighbors really are.
You can plug in your address at www.mapsexoffender.com.
Meanwhile - Rockford police say Jeremy Jason Aldrich - is now in jail for failing to register. Officers are currently checking on the other two non-compliant offenders in this story.