Wanted sex offender Matthew Caulk captured by U.S. Marshals during snowstorm

Caulk was wearing an untrackable GPS device

AURORA, Colo. - Wanted sex offender Matthew Caulk was captured by U.S. Marshals during Sunday’s snowstorm.

Around 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Marshals Service Colorado Violent Offender Task Force (COVOTF) arrested wanted sex offender Matthew Preston Caulk in a home on the 3800 Block of South Ventura Street in Aurora, according to the U.S. Marshals service.

"Despite the weather conditions here in Colorado we continued to pursue Caulk night and day," said Chief Deputy Kenneth Deal.  "When a dangerous predator is on the loose we don’t stop.  A CrimeStoppers tip and a lot of old fashioned detective work led us to Caulk."

Caulk is wanted for violation of federal supervised release. He was convicted of sexual assaults in both Colorado and Washington state, one involving an underage girl. He went missing from a Denver halfway house and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Feb. 13.

At that time, Caulk was serving eight years of supervised release following a 45-month sentence in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender in 2010.

Caulk was required to register after a sexual assault conviction in Washington state. In 2007, while unregistered and on the run in Colorado, the marshals said he committed another sexual assault in Lakewood.

Caulk was found after being featured on America's Most Wanted and local media. He had been with an underage runaway.

7NEWS has learned that when Caulk went missing, he was wearing a GPS monitoring device on his ankle. It was a passive GPS device, which tracks an offender's movement, but does not transmit the information in real time.  An offender has to dock the passive GPS unit, uploading information showing where that person has been.

In comparison, in the city and county of Denver, most on probation are monitored with an active GPS device.

"The benefit of the active is, it is in real time. We get points every minute," said Sean Stinger, a probation officer supervisor in the city and county of Denver. "Active GPS is utilized in order to monitor high risk offenders in real time."

"Do you know of any sex offenders in Denver County that would be passive GPS?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"Not in this department, no," said Stinger. "I can see it being more utilized with very low-risk offenders, that you don't need to know where they are in real time."

7NEWS spoke with the director of the halfway house, responsible for monitoring Caulk. The director, Joe Starman, said passive GPS monitoring is used, "because we have other forms of accountability that we've been utilizing on our offenders."

In an official statement, Starman wrote:

Independence House operates a GPS tracking system on sex offender residents that are judicially placed in our program.  We currently have a GPS tracking system that enables us to passively monitor client movement and gives us active alerts should a client tamper or cut off the unit.   This provides us an additional level of accountability on the resident.  In addition, we actively monitor client accountability via client sign-in/sign out logs, telephone check-in calls, telephonic verifications, on-sites and facility house-counts.

Clients who fall under this classification are mandated to register with the Denver Police Department within 5 days of arriving to the program.  Clients are also required to re-register annually on their birth date, every 90 days if convicted of an offense that requires this or has a change of address.  Clients are authorized to sign-out of the facility if approved for a specific activity (ie...work, treatment, legal, medical etc.) with pre-authorized travel-time allotted and given a stipulated time to return to the program.

Should a client fail to return to the program at the mandated time, the program will contact the jurisdiction having authority over the offender.  Clients are placed on safety plans and must have approval from the supervising officer and the treatment provider to attend specific locations or employment while in the program. 

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