Police Arrest Sex Offenders
Local authorities arrested two registered sex offenders after both men were found in local parks.
Southern Pines police arrested Douglas Frank Johnson, 22, of Pinehurst, at 11:31 p.m. Friday after officers found him in the parking lot of the town's downtown park.
Pinehurst police, with the help of Southern Pines officers, arrested Thomas James Brewer Jr., 30, of Southern Pines, at 9:06 a.m. Thursday at his home. Brewer had been spotted by an off-duty officer at Cannon Park several days earlier.
State law prohibits registered sex offenders from being within 300 feet of any place frequented by minors.
Officers noticed Johnson sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot while on routine patrol near the park, said Lt. Rodney Hardy, of the Southern Pines Police Department.
Police arrested Johnson after a check of his driver's license showed he was a registered sex offender, Hardy said.
An off-duty Aberdeen police officer recognized Brewer at a youth baseball game at Cannon Park on May 12, according to Pinehurst Police Capt. Floyd Thomas. The officer notified Pinehurst police. Brewer had left by the time police arrived.
He is also facing drug charges after a search of his home by Southern Pines police turned up marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Hardy said.
Thomas said Brewer told police he was at the game to watch a friend's children play.
According to the state's sex offender registry, Johnson was convicted of indecent liberty with a minor/lewd acts with a child in 2008. Brewer was convicted of indecent liberty with a minor in 2007.
Thomas encouraged residents to be proactive about learning where sex offenders live in their area. He said they can do so by looking at North Carolina's sex offender registry and can sign up for e-mail alerts when an offender moves nearby.
Contact Tom Embrey by e-mail at email@example.com.
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