He registered as sex offender in Lake Elsinore in January when he began living with his mother and step-father at a home near an elementary school.
Prior to that he lived in nearby Escondido, but police say it is possible he was traveling to Lake Elsinore to look for victims.
"It is certainly a possibility that he was travelling back and forth," said Borjas. "The towns are pretty close."
Neighbors in Lake Elsinore were outraged to learn the convicted sex offender was living in their midst and that he had been offered a shortened sentence in exchange for a plea in 2000. On Wednesday someone spray painted "Chelseas [sic] blood is on your hands. Move out," on the garage of Gardner's mother's home.
At the time of Gardner's prison released, court psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Carroll, who evaluated Gardner, pushed for the maximum sentence, as many as 30 years, and said Gardner "would be a continued danger to underage girls in the community."
Dr. Alex Kalish, a colleague, said Carroll was angry that his recommendations were ignored a decade ago.
"Dr. Carroll told the court that [Gardner] showed no insight and expressed no responsibility and that he is a danger. You can't make a stronger statement than that," said Kalish. "The guy is violent and a predator who shows no remorse.
"There was no effort to consider his report. Apparently the D.A. did what was expedient to get a conviction. It is frustrating that no one considered the psychiatric input. Why ask for it, if you don't consider it," Kalish said.