Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dealing with the mentally ill

In this line of work you are bound to come into contact with people that are mentally ill. In insurance fraud cases you may get hired to conduct surveillance to determine whether someone's lifestyle is reflective of what they or their attorney's are alleging it to be. You may receive a call from a potential client who says that they are hearing voices inside their homes, or that every time they come home things are missing or are being moved around. You may also get the call that someone is being followed or they feel that they are being watched. Dealing with these cases takes a certain amount of empathy and sometimes being open minded. 

In 2010 we worked a case in the Oakland, California area. The insurance adjuster needed to know where a claimant was residing as the information that they had on the claimant was sketchy. Normally with cases like these you start with a place that you know that the person will be and follow them home. On this day our investigator goes to a doctors office located in the Jack London Square area. The claimant arrived approximately 15 minutes before the appointment. The claimant looked like he had fallen on rough times. Once our investigator was able to confirm that this was the claimant, we positioned ourselves in area that we could follow the claimant from the appointment. About 40 minutes later the claimant exited the building and we started to follow him. The claimant walked and continued walking for approximately 2 miles. As he walked we noted that he appeared to be having a conversation, but with no one in particular, our investigator used a camera to zoom in to see if the claimant was using a blue tooth but he was found to not be using one. The claimant eventually arrived at a shelter, he got into line and entered into the shelter where he was out of view for approximately 30 minutes. The claimant then exited the shelter and our investigator noted that he had a paper bag in his hand, he walked for a short while and then was observed laying down on the sidewalk under a freeway bridge. The claimant ate his food and continued to converse with himself. Our investigator watched the claimant for approximately  four hours before hearing back from the adjuster, the adjuster advised our investigator to discontinue the surveillance, and they also would not  need to pursue any more surveillance on this subject as he had a psychological claim. 

In 2013 our offices were referred a case in the Gardena, California area. We were advised that the client believed that her house was being bugged and that someone had also placed a camera within the residence. Our investigator arrived at the client's residence and upon arrival immediately noticed aluminum foil in the windows, light fixtures, and covering the electrical outlets. Our investigator started searching the apartment for wireless camera's and listening devices, while we were conducting our investigation the client became more and more agitated, she stated that she had immigrated to the United States and believed that the President was spying on her. She also advised that the President himself had installed camera equipment into her residence. Our investigator continued looking through the residence and found nothing to support her claim of the President or anyone for that matter watching her. Our investigator noted that the client had pictures of her daughter in the residence and inquired about that relationship, the client called her daughter and requested that we speak with her. Our investigator spoke with the daughter who stated that her mother had been suffering from mental health issues for a while and asked that our offices do what we can to help her. After hanging up with the client's daughter we devised a plan. We told the client where she could get anti bugging equipment and showed her how we used the equipment. We did this in hopes that the client could calm her paranoia's and hopefully live a fuller life. About a year later the client called our offices and did inform us that the President found out that we had been there and that we were too good and they stopped bugging her house. 

In 2014 our investigator met a gentleman at the courthouse while we were filing some paperwork. The gentleman asked if our investigator could assist him in a neighborhood dispute. Our investigator stated that we could help him out and made an appointment to come to his residence in the Los Angeles, California area. Our investigator arrived at the client's residence and immediately observed a huge wall with no trespassing signs plastered and spray painted all over it. Several cameras were noted to be placed on the walls and also on the roof of the house. The client welcomed our investigator and had our investigator go into his backyard. While speaking to the client our investigator noted that there was larger than normal populace of bee's in the area. The client started talking about his dispute with his neighbor, he said that his neighbor had been going on his property and spraying pesticide and weed killer on his property. The client wanted for our investigators to conduct surveillance on Wednesdays when the neighbor did yard work, the client also wanted for our investigator to find out who the gardener was so that we could speak to him and see if he was putting pesticide in his yard. While we were talking a bee flew onto the arm of our investigator and our investigator batted the bee away. The client all of a sudden goes into a frenzy and starts yelling at our investigator, he states that the neighbor must have gotten to us since we are trying to kill his hive too. Our investigator quickly informed the client that we did not know his neighbor and reminded him that we were there at his request. The client started sweating profusely and started cussing and yelling to the point where saliva was frothing at the corners of his mouth. At this time our investigator told the client that we did not believe that we could be of service to the client. The client yelled at us and we excused ourselves and vacated the premises. The client called us later on that evening and apologized asking if we could come back and help him. Our investigator stated that we sympathized with the client, but we would have to decline the case. 

It is not unusual to get calls with strange requests, from the woman that called us to find Tom Cruise because she had his baby and he is ducking her, to the woman that called and said that Jesus and Lucifer were having tea at her table and she needed me to come over to facilitate a peace contract. We as investigators need to handle these calls as professionally and considerately as we can. For every one of these people that think someone is watching them, there is a few that are correct. Just because your being paranoid, does not mean that you don't have a reason to be. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sealed with a kiss

Infidelity, cheating, stepping out, all terms that reference the same thing, someone is doing something with someone that they are not supposed to be. 

Our last blog was about a client that suspected that his wife was cheating on him and was later on proven to be wrong (refer to the blog when your wrong), this blog is about a client that suspects his wife is cheating and his suspicions are proven to be correct. A client calls, we will name him Simon to keep things simple, and states that he believes that his wife is seeing someone else. The reasons he gives are that his wife has made a new friend, and she has been seen around town with this new friend at various eateries and bars. Simon said that he approached his wife, we will call her Kelly, about her new friend and Kelly tells him that there is nothing going on, that they are just friends and that they are hanging out because her friend is having a hard time with life right now. Simon is no fool, he want's to believe his wife but his gut is telling him that something isn't right. 

Simon starts noticing other things, Kelly is more argumentative and is using excuses to get out of the house and out of sight. She has started an aerobics class that is two hours. Her girlfriends are now starting to have problems in their relationships and Kelly needs to be there for them. Simon is at his wits end. Simon gives us a call, he will be going out of town on business for a week and wants to see if the mouse will play. We get all of the pertinent information and tell him that we will see what we can do. We start our surveillance the following day and Kelly is observed going to a store, going to the gym, getting coffee, and going to work. We break off at work and decide to pick it back up after the work hours. In the evening we go back to her place of employment and follow her home, she is at home for about two hours before she comes out dressed for the kill. She jumps into her vehicle and departed the area. Kelly is followed out of the city for about 25 miles. She arrives at a nice restaurant and enters into the restaurant. Our investigator gives her a couple of minutes before going in. 

Kelly is observed sitting at a booth with who else but the friend, we will call him Ralph, she is sitting right next to him and not across from each other. Our investigator finds a suitable vantage point and observes Kelly and Ralph as they flirt and engage in conversation. At this time all Kelly and Ralph are doing is flirting and though it is not appropriate, it is not damning evidence either. After approximately 45 minutes our investigator notes that they are about to get their bill and we hurriedly exited the restaurant. 

Kelly and Ralph exit the restaurant, Ralph walks Kelly to her vehicle and they stand by the trunk of her vehicle, Ralph embraces Kelly and is observed grabbing on her butt. Kelly then brings him in close and seals the deal with a kiss. All the while they are doing this they don't see our investigator recording their activities. At this point we have everything that is needed, Ralph is more than just a friend, and to top it off our client advised that his wife told him that she would be visiting one of those girlfriends that was going through a hard time. After the make out session in the parking lot, Kelly gets in her vehicle, Ralph walks over to his and he starts driving out the parking lot with Kelly in tow. We follow them to a residential area about 15 minutes away from the restaurant, Ralph pulls into a garage and Kelly exits her vehicle, they both walk into the residence and close the garage door. We mark Kelly's parking spot to determine if she stays or leaves. When we return in the morning Kelly's vehicle is parked in the same exact spot and there was no movement. 

Now is the hard part, explaining to the client that his suspicions were accurate, that the wife he has been with for almost two decades has stepped out on their marriage. That the guy he suspected is in fact more than a friend. We show the client stills of his wife kissing Ralph, the client takes a deep breath and says that it was what he thought and that he would be alright. He then starts asking the questions that are all too common, why would she do this to their family?  What is going to happen to their family and the future that he thought they were both trying to build? Unfortunately we don't have those answers. Our investigator advises him that we will keep him and his family in our prayers. 

After working dozens and dozens of these cases, we have seen the devastation that it can cause. Children, in laws, friends, and communities are affected by these decisions. So we caution you with a bible verse Luke 12:3.  What is done in the dark, will come to light. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at www.MorrowDetectiveAgency.com or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!