A sex offender was living in his car in the parking lot of the Walmart located on Sigmon Road in Wilmington.
The man's arrest for allegedly flashing a young girl at a book store revealed that he had listed his address as the Walmart parking lot on the sex offender registry. However, the man did not attempt to conceal his whereabouts. In fact, authorities admit they knew where the man was residing all along.
The man is homeless, and homeless shelters in New Hanover County do not permit registered sex offenders. As such, he had little choice but to live in his car. The man's actions were legal.
New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David called the situation "not ideal" due to Walmart's public location and stated that it was public safety issue. However, he admitted that the issue of what to do with ex-offenders who have no place to live is one that needs to be addressed by the community.
One Walmart shopper expressed concern regarding the man's location, stating that parents do not always pay close attention to their children and allow them to stray out of their sight.
Detective Sandi Macon with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office finds it more difficult to keep track of offenders who do not have a traditional roof over their heads. Macon said that this man is the only sex offender registered at a Walmart in New Hanover County. However, there are other homeless offenders who register their addresses as under a bridge or in the woods.
Source: WMBFNews.com "Sex offender registers home as Walmart parking lot" 9/19/10