Officials are searching for a parolee accused of forcibly removing his GPS ankle bracelet and running away from parole agents, the Escondido Police Department confirmed Tuesday.
According to police, Anthony Wayne Wilkins, 40, failed to update his sex offender registration, absconded from parole and is currently at large.
Police said Wilkins – a known transient who frequents the areas of Centre City Parkway and Highway 78 in Escondido – was last seen more than one week ago and could now be in other parts of the county.
On Christmas Eve, a parole agent spotted Wilkins just blocks away from Escondido police headquarters with his removed GPS device. Police said that when Wilkins saw the parole agent, he ran away.
Officers were unable to locate him, and he remains at large, police confirmed Tuesday.
Detectives told NBC 7 that in 2003, Wilkins was convicted of assault with the intent to commit rape.
He’s also been convicted of other crimes involving drugs and evading law enforcement.
Police said Wilkins has a “history of irrational behavior” and is considered dangerous.
“To us, that increases the danger and the awareness to the public is real important,” said Lt. Justin Murphy.
Anyone who sees Wilkins should not approach him, but rather stay at a distance and call 911 to report the parolee's whereabouts, Lt. Murphy said.
The parolee is described as 5-foot-11, approximately 160 pounds, with balding brown hair and green eyes. He has a tattoo of a heart on his left arm and a tattoo of a cross with a rose on his right forearm.
The news of Wilkins on the loose has left some residents on edge, including father Richard Williams, who often visits Escondido with his family.
“It’s scary – especially having kids and stuff,” said Williams.
He said he’s concerned for other children in the area as well.
“You should always keep an eye on your kids. Keep them close, have people watching them, pay attention to who you have around them,” added Williams.
For Escondido resident Malachi Baldwin, he fears what Wilkins may do next, given that he’s removed his GPS monitoring device.
“The only reason he would cut it off is because he’s going to do something bad or he’s trying to get somewhere safe, or get out of hiding,” said Baldwin.
The police department said they have officers specifically assigned to track sex offenders like Wilkins.
Still, in times like these, police said they need the public’s help.
The Escondido Police Department made a public safety announcement regarding Wilkins Tuesday, urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to immediately contact authorities.