Resident Worried About Homeless Sex Offender Living Near East-Side Wal-Mart

Resident Worried About Homeless Sex Offender Living Near East-Side Wal-Mart

by Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - If homeless sex offenders keep police informed every week of their whereabouts, they're in compliance.

"The way the law reads, if someone is a registered sex offender and they don't have a permanent address, they are required to report to the police department on a weekly basis. They must give a detailed description of the geographic location of which they will be residing," Andrea Goodson, Public Information Coordinator with the City of Odessa, said.

36-year-old Ralph Romo is homeless living in Odessa. He's also a registered sex offender. Romo's profile on the sex offender registry states that he is "transient" with his address being the east-side Walmart. We're told that police are aware of this and patrol the area more.

"A lot of it is their word. But there is some follow up from law enforcement," Goodson said.

Mindy Smith is a resident who lives close to Wal-Mart. She tells NewsWest 9 being able to look up the profile on Romo is good. However, with him being homeless, he could be anywhere.

"It's very scary because I work during the evenings and I don't get home until after 11:00 at night. If I come home and see someone I think they are apart of the community. Not knowing if he's around here, it's very scary," Smith said.

She thinks that sex offenders should have a different address they have to claim.

"I think it needs to be a physical address, not a business address," Smith said.

But officials tell NewsWest 9, that the law is the law.

"In this particular case, the individual has registered with the police department. So as of right now, he's in compliance," Godson said.