The hunt for a high-risk sex offender from Edmonton has schools on lockdown in the city of Lloydminster, on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.
Michael Sean Stanley, 48, left Edmonton Tuesday morning for Lloydminster, where he managed to cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and toss it on the roof of a local business.
The town's 10 public schools and six Catholic schools are now following lockdown procedures.
"We're holding our breath," said Michael Diachuk, the director of education, who hopes police find Stanley by the end of the day.
"The community is deeply concerned. They're watching out for each other."
The school doors are locked when children are inside, and staff will ensure younger children are escorted to and from school by parents if they are walking. Bus drivers have also been given a picture of the man RCMP are seeking.
The ankle bracelet Stanley wore was part of an electronic monitoring system overseen by the Edmonton Police Service, said RCMP Sgt. Juan Huss.
Tracking anklet triggered
When the bracelet was cut, it emitted a loud tamper alarm and also sent an electronic signal, which RCMP were able to follow to the rooftop where it was deposited.
"We were alerted to the fact that he was on his way to Lloydminster and we tried to have him intercepted there because he had conditions not be 50 kilometres outside of Edmonton,” said EPS Detective Chris Hayduk with the High Risk Offender Unit.
“They attempted to intercept him there, and at some point he removed the monitoring bracelet from his leg."
Speaking Wednesday, Huss said the “chances are slim” Stanley is still in Lloydminster, as he has no known ties to that community.
RCMP detachments across Alberta and Saskatchewan have been warned that Stanley is likely on the move, said Huss, but added, “he could be anywhere.”
Use of GPS anklets in Alberta
Stanley was released in April 2011 under a peace bond that required him to report weekly to Hayduk at EPS headquarters, to wear the electronic monitoring device and to get written permission in advance of any travel outside of Edmonton.
The original bond expired earlier this summer but was renewed in June 2013 with identical conditions.
Hayduk said only three Edmonton-area offenders have been given the GPS devices.
He said this is the first time one of the people under electronic supervision has ever been involved in a situation like this before.
Electronic monitoring bracelets were introduced in Alberta just over two years ago but they have only been used for about a dozen high-risk offenders.