Ararat residents remain vigilant as police close in on sex offender

Police are searching for Andrew Darling, who left Ararat's Corella Place correctional facility early this morning. PHOTO: VICTORIA POLICE

Police are searching for Andrew Darling, who left Ararat's Corella Place correctional facility early this morning. PHOTO: VICTORIA POLICE

POLICE are currently searching around Ararat for a sex offender who fled a correctional facility at the weekend.

Warnings have been issued to rural landowners to remain vigilant the a notorious sex offender remains at large.

Police are urging farmers and residents in the Ararat area to remain wary around sheds and out buildings on their properties after sex offender Andrew Darling fled Corrella Place correctional facility. 

The 42-year-old was last seen at the Warrak Road facility shortly after 2.30am on Sunday.

It is believed he left on foot.

Despite extensive searches of the local area, Darling has not been located.

Darling has bush survival skills and is known to frequent licensed venues.

Any residents who notice food or clothing stolen from their premises are urged to contact police. 

Darling was released on parole from Port Phillip Prison on May 20, 2009, after serving a nine-year sentence for the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

He was arrested in Queensland in 2009 after leaving Victoria while on parole.

Darling is described as Caucasian, about 176 centimetres tall, of medium build, with blue eyes, fair-coloured cropped hair and a fair complexion.

He has both ears pierced and tattoos on his right lower leg, back and arms.

It is not known what he was last seen wearing, but he is known to wear camouflage clothing.

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