Discreet Investigation Service

The Importance of Correct Information when Starting a Private Investigator Surveillance Case & Why Comprehensive Reports are Not Always the Answer

3/21/2019

Recently a client hired us to do some surveillance on an individual that owed him money. The police had trouble finding the subject, letters were returned, and there was really no information on where this individual may have gone. When conducting a surveillance investigation, home address and vehicle descriptions/license plate numbers are the most important information a private investigator will need to perform proper surveillance on the subject.

The home address that was provided by the client’s previous private investigator is where we started our investigation. We found the 3 cars provided with matching license plates. There was no movement by the male subject or his wife, but a lot of activity was heard within the fenced in yard and activity could be seen near windows and with changing light patterns inside the home. On the fifth day of surveillance, a cab pulled out and two adults, one male and one female, exited and went inside the home. But they did not match the description of the subject or his wife that our client had provided.

Upon relaying the information to the client, he authorized us to do an undercover investigation and knock on the door. What we learned is that the people currently living in the home had bought the house over a year ago from the subject in question. The client hired us to perform surveillance on an address that the previous private investigator stated the subject was living at. The client did not want to pay to have us verify the address ahead of time which lead to us watching an incorrect address.

Our client being from out of state hired a Private Investigator who was local to him and contracted this investigator to locate the subject; our client paid that investigator an fee of over $500 and received an 80 page comprehensive report back which included 15 current and previous addresses, places of employment, vehicles, neighbors, family members, multiple IP addresses, emails, and more. Being that the subject in question lived in Connecticut this client found Discreet Investigations to do the surveillance as we are more local to the subject.

One of my first questions was, “do you know if this information that was provided by the previous investigator was verified and is correct”. The client responded, "yes, I paid a lot of money for guaranteed information". We put a lot of time and effort into the case based on this information that the previous agency had pulled and discovered that the information was wrong. The question then becomes “why”? There is 80 pages of information, how can it all be wrong?

The answer is simple, these comprehensive reports that investigators have access should only be used as guidelines for loose leads. A trained investigator will know how to take the information and break it down in order to utilize the leads to get the correct facts. Most of that is done with good old fashion field work and knowing how to conduct that field work in a very discreet fashion. 

Our client wanted to know, how can 80 pages of information all be incorrect? The answer was simple, no one verified this information.

So, what happened next? The client had to start from scratch. We restarted the investigation and within 5 days we had all the information he needed so that his lawyers could take over the case; why was it that easy for us and what did we do? We started over with the basics on the male subject: his name, approximate age, and last known address. Just like the original investigator, we ran a database comp report but instead of passing it off as verified information immediately, we combed through the report to look for legitimate leads to use. There were several addresses that showed up on a specific road in our report. When we went there it was primarily commercial, but this is where experience and knowing how to use the report comes into play. We found two large townhome complex’s in the area and searched them and eventually we found the subject. We then followed up and obtained everything and more that the client needed.

A general rule of thumb is that Comprehensive Reports will never be initially correct and spot on and you need an agency that knows how to use them correctly to get the answers you are looking for. If you have a surveillance case and would like a free consultation from Discreet Investigation, please contact us today.