Red Signs Identify Sexual Predators in Bradford County - GTN - Gainesville Television Network

Red Signs Identify Sexual Predators in Bradford County

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If you've driven on Highway 301 in Starke, you may notice a red sign in front of one home. The sign was put up by the Bradford County Sheriff's Office, but it's drawing attention because it says a sexual predator lives there.

Andrew Thomas Jr. lives right behind the home that now has a red sign indicating a sexual predator.

"It just astounded me really. It's like twenty feet behind our house. That's just scary. Dude could be like watching out his back window looking at us," said Thomas Jr.

Thomas Jr. lives with his family and girlfriend and just moved in three months ago. He never thought he would live right behind a registered sexual predator. He says he's mostly concerned because he has younger siblings.

"They're right behind our house and my little brother, he goes outside all day, plays outside all day and a little sister that comes to the bus stop," said Thomas Jr.

The red sign is just the first of more than a dozen that the Bradford County Sheriff's Office will put up at sexual predators' homes across the county in an effort to inform people living in the area.

"This is all about keeping our community safe and to make sure we don't have one more victim of a sexual crime in my community as long as I'm the sheriff," said Sheriff Gordon Smith with the Bradford Co. Sheriff's Office.

The signs are legal under Florida Statute 775.21 that says law enforcement agencies can "inform the community and the public of the presence of a sexual predator."

GTN News did try to talk with Sean Starling but he didn't want to go on camera. Still neighbors like Andrew Jr. have concerns.

"Just the thought of that of them being outside and he could be watching or, you know, just come by and just wipe them up. I mean, any of that."

The Sheriff's Office tells GTN News the rest of the red signs should be up by the end of the week.

Reported by: Cameron Taylor

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