How Colorado Parolees on GPS Monitoring Kept Committing Crimes


A Colorado sex-offender parolee hooked his GPS tracking device to his dog’s collar so he could consort with underage girls and collect firearms, drugs, and ammunition. Another disappeared from his motel the day he was tethered to an electronic monitor. He now is charged with raping two women and attempting to rape another. A third kept unplugging his monitoring device and ignored warnings that he stop moving without approval. Authorities believe he killed a 59-year-old man at a motel, the Denver Post reports.

Well before parolee Evan Ebel tore off his ankle bracelet in March and allegedly killed two people, including Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, the state’s electronic-monitoring system showed signs of trouble. A Post review of parolee cases from October to April found that serious alerts sometimes went unheeded until it was too late, as the system generated thousands of false and minor notifications. Colorado’s most dangerous parolees are outfitted with high-tech equipment that is supposed to keep a close watch on their whereabouts. Problems arise. Batteries run down. Plugs get ripped from wall sockets. The systems go dark. The Post found cases in which parole officers responded slowly as parolees went off the grid and allegedly committed new violent crimes.

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