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Lethbridge police say high-risk offender may still be in southern Alberta

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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Police are warning that a violent, high-risk offender was in and around Lethbridge for a few days last week and might still be in the southern Alberta city.

Lethbridge police said Michael Sean Stanley, who is 48, is the subject of a Canada-wide search.

Stanley, who has a long history of sexual offences against women and children, cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet on Oct. 1 in Lloydminster.

"His range of victims — his target selection if you will — range from young to old, male and female, so there is no saying just who would be a target for Mr. Stanley," Staff-Sgt. Ian Sanderson said Tuesday.

"It is just that his past history has proven he will target anybody."

Police said they believe Stanley drove directly from Lloydminster to Lethbridge, where he has friends and family, who contacted police.

Sanderson said police seized Stanley's SUV and were warning people to be safe and wary, but schools in the city were not ordered locked down. Police believe Stanley, who is an alcoholic, has been drinking and was probably in hiding.

Sanderson said the man's relatives were urging him to give himself up.

"The family is hopeful that Mr Stanley will do the right thing," he said. "There has been a lot of encouragement expressed from family for Mr. Stanley — surrender yourself."

Last week, schools in several west-central Saskatchewan communities locked their doors and kept children inside after Mounties got multiple, unconfirmed sightings of the Edmonton man.

Schools in Lloydminster, Kindersley, Coleville, Eston, Marengo, Eatonia and Plenty went into what police called "hold and secure" mode, which meant children were locked in the building during the day and parents had to pick them up when classes ended.

Mounties also said there was a possible sighting of Stanley in Rosetown.

Over the weekend, Saskatchewan RCMP say they got more than 25 reports of possible sightings from across the province. None was confirmed and several proved false.

Stanley is on Alberta's high-risk offender list. Edmonton police have said he was released from jail in April 2011 after completing a 32-month sentence for assault and forcible confinement. A release issued by police at that time said Stanley was considered to be "an untreated violent and sexual offender who poses a risk of significant harm to the community.''

Stanley was being monitored by police under a peace bond, which authorities can get to impose conditions on individuals in the community. His peace bond has 20 conditions, including one ordering him to stay away from children.

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