HUDSON (FOX 13) - It looks like an intense game of hide and seek caught on camera, but detectives with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office say a Friday search of a Hudson home was quite serious.
Detectives Scott Raymer and Kip Mello were on the hunt for Thomas Mock Junior, a self-employed handyman and convicted sex offender. After scanning the entire house, Detective Raymer had a hunch to check a storage bin in the garage. They found the 37-year old crammed inside.
Mock was arrested for failure to register, resisting arrest, and additional charges out of Hillsborough County.
"He knew he was done. He put his hands up inside the box and didn't resist any further after that," Detective Raymer said Tuesday.
Neighbors say Mock and others were renovating the previously abandoned house and living there in the process.
"I was happy that they purchased the house because this house has been empty and just disintegrating in front of my eyes for a couple of years now," neighbor Stefan Monev said Tuesday.
He was shocked to hear Mock was a wanted man. Investigators, on the other hand, weren't at all surprised by the desperate measures he went through to hide.
"There's a lot of unique places where we find people," Detective Mello said.
Detectives say that's why tracking sex offenders down becomes more critical by the day.
"When they fail to register, we don't know where they're at anymore. So here we have someone who has committed an offense to become a sex offender, now they're at large," Raymer said.
Two more people, Mock's brother-in-law and a woman also working on the home renovation were also arrested. Steven Peavy and Danielle Dyer are facing felony charges for harboring a sex offender.