MTYT: Sex offenders registering under Walmart's address

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Our news department uncovered something these last couple weeks that frankly puzzles me.

An investigation from reporter Max Winitz found a registered sex offender from New Hanover County living in the parking lot of Walmart on Sigmon Road.  The authorities knew it, and say it's perfectly legal.

Maybe even more disturbing, Walmart corporate tells us they knew nothing about it until we brought it to their attention.

I understand that sex offenders need to live somewhere, and many communities make sure it's not near a school.  But, I have to think the Walmart parking lot, where I usually see plenty of children, is not an acceptable alternative either.

The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office says it's our responsibility to know where the sex offenders live.  They put the information on a website.  We have access to it and we should check it.

District Attorney Ben David admits it's a problem.  But he points out it's tricky.  Some sex offenders like this one are homeless and the local homeless shelters won't allow them to stay there.  That forces them onto the streets and in this case to the Wal-Mart parking lot.

What's the solution here?  I really don't know.  But I'm betting our viewers have some pretty good ideas.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To share your ideas on this issue or your thoughts on anything else, email me at

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