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Sex Offender Held; GPS Tracked Him to a School

November 18, 2005|Susana Enriquez | Times Staff Writer

A global positioning system used to monitor high-risk sex offenders resulted in the arrest of a parolee in Anaheim who had been in the parking lot of an elementary school, a doll shop and an amusement park for children, officials said Thursday.

The arrest of Robert Dobucki, 43, comes three weeks after 40 parolees in Orange County were equipped with electronic ankle bracelets that are tracked via satellite by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Dobucki, who was convicted in 1998 of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, was arrested Tuesday for violating the terms of his parole, which included staying away from children, said Elaine Jennings, an agency spokeswoman.

"This man was determined to be a high-risk sex offender, and he has a high propensity to re-offend," she said.

Sex offenders are classified as high-risk based on the number of victims, the violence of their offenses and the likelihood of their committing a crime again, she added.

Parolees are monitored from two to seven years.

Since the agency started using GPS, the parolee-to-agent ratio dropped from 40:1 to 20:1 because of the constant monitoring the system requires.

Dobucki, whose last known address is in Anaheim, was paroled in 2004 and outfitted with a GPS bracelet this month.

Over a seven-day period, Dobucki spent two minutes in the parking lot of St. Norbert Elementary in Orange, went to a doll shop on Beach Boulevard and visited Adventure City, both in Anaheim.

When his parole officer questioned him about being in the doll shop, Dobucki said he had been at the coin store next door, according to Jennings.

But Jennings said the GPS gave the exact address of his location.

Dobucki was booked for violating his parole. He is being held at Chino state prison without bail.

The corrections department, working with Orange County sheriff's investigators, is the first agency in the country to use GPS to cross-reference parolees' whereabouts and crime locations.

"If we have a crime, we can check where people have been down to 50 feet," said Jim Amormino, sheriff's department spokesman.

Investigators will determine whether Dobucki was in the vicinity of any sex crimes, although there is no indication he was, Jennings said.

The goal of the agency, which also monitors 80 parolees in San Bernardino and San Diego counties, is to track 500 parolees by July.

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