LUBBOCK, Texas – On October 17, the Lubbock Police Department (LPD) asked for the public’s help finding lifetime registered sex offender Robert Cooks, 52, whom they considered to be ‘armed and dangerous’ at the time.
“If we feel like someone’s a high risk, they need to be off the streets,” said Lt. Brady Cross with LPD.
LPD said Cooks failed to report his correct home address and was suspected of being out of compliance for about 80 days. According to the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry, Cooks is required to verify his information with law enforcement quarterly.
“This person in particular wasn’t staying where they told us they were staying,” Cross said. “They’ve absconded from the location they told us they would be living.”
The Texas Public Sex Offender Registry revealed Cooks was sentenced to 99 years in prison in 1989 for aggravated sexual assault and burglary of a habitation with intent of sexual assault. LPD captured and arrested Cooks on Sunday near 34th St. & Boston Ave. As of Wednesday, he remained in the Lubbock County Detention Center and is facing charges of failing to register as a sex offender, possession of a controlled substance, parole violation and giving false information to a police officer. His bonds total $192,000.
“The crimes he’s committed to be on the list and be registered, and some statements he’s made to our staff here put him [Cooks] at a higher level,” Cross said. “The things they [registered sex offenders] are required to report and the timelines they [registered sex offenders] have to report are stringent, and it’s for a reason.”
As of Wednesday, the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry has 787 people listed in Lubbock County. Seven of them are listed as ‘absconded,’ but are not considered high-risk.
“It can be letting us know you’ve changed jobs, that you’ve moved, that your internet provider has changed, that you’ve gotten a new social media account, that you’re laying your head somewhere different for a short time,” Cross said. “All of those things you’re required to report to us, and if you don’t do it in a timely manner, you can be not complying with the terms of your sex offender registration. Sometimes it’s not on purpose, but when they’re not complying and they’re not registering completely, we hold them accountable.”
In the City of Lubbock, no registered sex offender can live within 1,000 feet of places like schools and parks. Lubbock County, on the other hand, said it has no living restrictions for registered sex offenders.
If you are curious about how close to you a sex offender may live, the Texas Department of Public Safety has a list and an interactive map of the state’s registered sex offenders online.