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False alarm triggered at sex offender's house

A technical mishap, not a crime, led authorities to the home of a convicted sex offender last week in St. Croix County.

Sheriff's deputies were alerted at 8:07 p.m. Thursday, March 9, after a GPS tracking device worn by Gerald Heavner tripped alarms.

Scott Knudson, chief deputy for St. Croix County, said deputies arrived at Heavner's Burkhardt home nine minutes later to discover the device had malfunctioned.

Heavner, whose name showed up on a jail booking sheet for the day, was in custody as a precaution while the device was being fixed, Knudson said. He noted that the jail visit was strictly for monitoring purposes — not due to a violation.

"At no time was he gone from the purview of the Department of Corrections," Knudson said.

A community notification meeting was held Feb. 23 in Burkhardt after Heavner moved to an apartment there. Heavner has been twice imprisoned — once in 1999 for sexually assaulting a child and again in 2008 for child enticement.

He had been living out of his vehicle after being paroled late last year. Law enforcement officials at last month's meeting said Heavner has been compliant while on parole.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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