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Law enforcement investigate sex offender calls

2-7-2007 North Dakota:
A Mandan man and a Morton County woman have reported receiving similar phone calls from a man claiming to be a sex offender living in Mandan. Morton County Sheriff Dave Shipman said the Mandan Police Department and the Morton County Sheriff's Department are conducting a joint investigation into the reports.

Mandan Deputy Police Chief Dennis Bullinger said a Mandan man living on the 900 block of Sixth Street Northwest reported to police that he had received a phone call around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, from a man claiming to be a registered sex offender who had moved into the neighborhood.

The caller told the man that he would not hurt him, but he advised him not to let his kids outside, Bullinger said. Bullinger said the man said the caller also claimed to be performing a sexual act on a child when he called.

The caller gave the man a name, but Bullinger said police have not found any record of a sex offender with such a name.

Shipman said a Morton County woman reported Monday that she received an almost identical call around 2 a.m. Saturday. The caller gave the same first name but not the same last name as in the Mandan case, Shipman said.

He said the caller told the woman he recently was released from prison, and police had told him to call everyone in the phone book to tell them he was in the community.

"And, obviously, we don't do that,"Shipman said.

People convicted of sex offenses are required to register as sex offenders with local law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement often release that information to the community through the media. However, sex offenders are not required to notify community members that they have moved into the area.

The man did not speak as graphically about sex offenses with the woman as he did with the Mandan man, Shipman said. Shipman said the same phone number appeared on the woman's caller identification system as the number that appeared on the Mandan man's caller identification system.

Law enforcement officials will use that information to determine where the call originated. Shipman recommends that anyone who receives a similar phone call report the incident to local law enforcement.

He said people should not erase the caller identification information, and they should call *69 immediately following such a call if they do not have caller identification.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the Mandan Police Department at 667-3455, the Morton County Sheriff's Department at 667-3330 or Bismarck Area Crime Stoppers at 224-TIPS (224-8477). ..more.. by

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