Prosecutors in Riverside County have created a new team to crack down on sex offenders in that county who are wanted by law enforcement, District Attorney Rod Pacheco announced Monday.
Currently, about 388 convicted sex offenders have warrants for their arrest and have not been apprehended. Given the large number of sex offender warrants that exist in Riverside County, some dating back to 1985, the need to create the team was critical, according to the district attorney.
“We cannot afford to let hundreds of known sex offenders roam our county and expose our children to additional risk,” Pacheco said, in a statement. “We must systematically track down these sex offenders and bring them to justice.”
Three prosecutors will be assigned to the new team, called the Sex Offender Apprehension Team (SOAT). It will work closely with members of the county’s Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) team, officials said.
Investigators were expected to start immediately tracking down the wanted persons. A total of 270,204 active warrants — for all types of cases — exist in Riverside County.
The new SOAT team is modeled after the District Attorney’s Fugitive Apprehension Team, which serves outstanding warrants in homicide cases.