HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The number of registered sex offenders in Hancock County is growing. According to the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, the number has nearly doubled in the past five years.
Sheriff's deputies want to keep close tabs on the whereabouts of all of them, but three offenders are now considered on the run.
Greg Peebles, John Sisson and Johnny Wyatt are the convicted sex offenders who officials say have not complied with state rules.
"Which means they didn't do what they were supposed to do, either moving or not checking in, so we have warrants issued for them," said Sheriff Ricky Adam.
Adam says the number of sex offenders in his county has doubled over the past five years. In 2008, there were about 50 registered sex offenders in Hancock County. Today, that number stands at a little more than 100.
The sheriff says one reason is people are more willing to report those types of crimes.
"They are stepping forward a lot more than they did in the past. People are understanding the stigma of it. It's not the child's fault. It's not the victim's fault. It's the perpetrator, who has typically done it to more than just the one victim," explained Adam.
He said residents should check the state's sex offender website frequently to stay on top of who is moving into the neighborhood, and keep close tabs on your children at all times.
"Be careful who your children are playing with. Be careful who you let them spend the night with. We can prevent another crime from happening. That's our ultimate goal," said Adam.
If you recognize any of the men, you're asked to contact the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at 466-6900.