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South Pasadena Police Arrest Wanted Sex Offender

South Pasadena police officers apprehended a wanted sex offender after being dispatched to the 1900 block of Huntington Lane for a report of a suspect looking into carport cabinets and attempting to open car doors.
Officers arrived on the scene on March 30 at about 8 p.m. and located the suspect, who was identified as Robert Owen Smith, a 56-year-old unhoused individual, still present at the location. Upon seeing the officers, Smith attempted to flee, but was apprehended shortly thereafter, according to a South Pasadena Police Department statement.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Smith was a sex offender who had failed to maintain compliance with registration requirements. Additionally, it was discovered that he was wanted for an outstanding felony warrant. Smith was arrested, booked and held at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Reception Center pending further court proceedings.
Under California’s Megan’s Law, which was enacted in 1996, the California Department of Justice is mandated to notify the public about specified registered sex offenders. Megan’s Law also authorizes local law enforcement agencies to notify the public about sex offender registrants found to be posing a risk to public safety. Megan’s Law is named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of that tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area.
All states in the United States now have some form of Megan’s Law. For more information on sex offender registration, check the California Megan’s Law website at Anyone with more information about this incident is urged to call the South Pasadena Police Department at (626) 403-7270. For those who would like to provide an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

First published in the April 11 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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