AAA Surveillance, Inc.
Maryland Private Investigator (Blog)
There are a lot of residences that are just impossible to monitor. Situations where the investigator(s) arrive and the subject lives off a narrow street with no shoulder or curb. You can't even pull over to take a look at the residence without being totally obvious. In situations like this we need to get creative. In a recent case we had to conduct an insurance fraud case in western Maryland. The subject’s house wasn't even visible from the road. It was a very rural area without a lot of traffic. Luckily we knew the color, make, model and tag number is his vehicle. Using Google Maps we identified the two most likely roads the subject would take to get to the two nearest towns, if he was to go shopping. Each of the two towns was in opposite directions and about 15 minutes away. Each investigator covered a town. As soon as the investigator began to enter the main business area they located a parking lot and setup surveillance watching every vehicle pass entering the town. This process continuing beginning Monday and lasted for 12 hours per day. Finally on a Friday the subject’s vehicle was located and followed to a Wal-Mart where evidence was collected. The second investigator to the Wall-Mart to help follow and videotape. So although this case seemed unlikely to succeed, it did. But this is the extreme. Most cases where the residence cannot be watched directly, there is usually a logical path that the subject will take to exit the area. It's our job to work with you to identify potential issues prior to beginning surveillance and agree on a strategy.
With A Little Luck
Friday at 9:15am we receive a phone call requesting surveillance later in the afternoon. Once we reviewed the case details we decided to accept the case and put together a plan. The client noticed a strange phone number appearing over and over again. It was not a number that she had ever called before and it wasn't even a local number. She did her best to figure out who her husband has been calling and came up with a possible female that lived in Virginia. Based on this females LinkedIn account she owned a gym that was open 24/7. The husband has been disappearing on the weekends staying overnight somewhere and they no longer communicate about their personal plans. The client requested surveillance to begin at the Virginia gym around 5pm and watch for her husbands vehicle to arrive or someone matching the LinkedIn profile photo to leave, and of course follow. The client was positive that he would meet her at the gym and later go out for dinner. The investigator arrived on time and began surveillance. Photographs of anyone matching the females description were taken and sent to the client. None of them were even close to the profile photo. At 11pm the client had all but given up hope and confirmed that her husband was not at home. A database search turned up a possible address for the female but again, the client was not even certain that this was the right person. It could be any number of people.. The investigator drove to the females residence and was happy to see his client's husband was indeed present. One other vehicle was present and lights were still on inside the residence. Around 1pm the lights all went off inside the residence. The investigator obtained photographs of both vehicles and their position at the residence. The vehicles were marked so that the investigator would be able to determine if both vehicles remained in the same position overnight without leaving. The investigator slept at a local hotel for a few hours and returned at 6am the following morning. Both vehicles were still present and had not moved overnight. Eventually the subject and female exited the front door of the residence and went to lunch together. The investigator was able to obtain video of pubic affection, both hand holding and kissing. After placing the two of them back at the females residence, the client decided to have the investigator discontinue surveillance.
Motorcycle Trip ?
A customer calls and informs us that her husband is on a multiple day motorcycle trip (out of state) with his friends. The client is from Pennsylvania. She's pretty sure that he's not doing anything wrong but just wants to take a look. She provides the hotel name and address here is Maryland. She sends a photo of the motorcycle but doesn't have the tag number. One of our Private Investigators is sent out immediately and locates the motorcycle. A photograph is sent from the investigator to the client. The client confirms that it is indeed the correct motorcycle. All of this is happening so fast the the client has not even provided a photo of her husband. All the investigator know is that he is 70 years old. So the investigator communicates to the client that there are no other motorcycles in the parking lot. Just as they are speaking an older man a younger female exit the hotel. They get into a sedan and drive away. The female is driving and the male is the passenger. The investigator decides to follow while at the same time trying to send a photo of the man to the client. The client confirms to the investigator that the man in the photo is her husband. The investigator calls the office requesting an additional investigator since this is most likely going to be a long day and help will be needed following. The subject and paramour go to downtown Annapolis and begin walking around on Main Street. Video is obtained showing PDA (holding hands). The second investigator arrives and surveillance continues. The investigators maintain their distance from each other so that in the event the subject or paramour begin to get specious, the other investigator can take over. Both investigators switch off as the one within view of the couple throughout the day. The couple remains downtown and have lunch together. It is decided that the one of the investigators should set back up at the hotel so that video of them entering together is not missed. If you have never conducted surveillance you don't know how that could be easily missed due to a simple traffic situation. If both investigators are following behind the couple on their way back to the hotel, one poorly timed traffic light would cause the hotel shot to be missed. Investigators have to plan for what would be the next best piece of evidence that is needed and be there in plenty of time to get it. Well just as expected, after lunch the two of them return to their vehicle and drive back to the hotel. Once the vehicle was close to the hotel the investigator that was following turns off and doesn't not have to pull into the parking lot with them. That's just to be sure nothing draws any attention. The investigator that left early to get setup at the hotel was able to get the video of the subject and paramour holding hands as they entered the hotel. It was then recommended to the client that the investigators document at least 2 hours of them inside together. The client agreed and gave her attorney a call. The attorney informed the client that the investigators had obtained all the evidence that was needed and for them to discontinue once the two hours were up.
No Child Visit Today?
A customer calls and says that she has moved out of the marital home and her husband is keeping the house. He works at night so during the summer he would usually get our daughter first thing in the morning and spend time with her until he goes to work. She says it's very odd that he was very firm about no getting her today. In fact I had to make daycare arrangements because of his sudden change of plans. An investigator was sent out to the subject’s residence and the subject’s car was parked in the driveway. Parking at the curb is available but there were no other cars even close to the residence. The investigator obtained a surveillance location from about 4 houses down the street where he could barely see the front door and driveway. After about an hour, the investigator observes a vehicle park at the curb about 3 houses away. Since this vehicle is so far away from the subject’s residence initially the investigator did not think it had anything to do with the case. The investigator expected the driver of the vehicle, who happened to be a female, exit the vehicle and walk into the house she had parked directly in front of. But Wrong. The female opened the trunk and got a duffle bag out and walk all the way to the subject’s residence. She entered the residence without knocking. The investigator signed into the Motor Vehicle Administration's database to run the tag of the female. The tag came back registered to a female and the client confirmed that this is someone that works with the subject. Video was obtained of her entering but we still needed to (1) put them behind closed doors for an hour or longer, (2) prove that the subject is actually inside the residence, not just that his vehicle is there and (3) obtain PDA, hug, kiss or holding hands. Three hours later the subject and paramour exit the residence and drive to a local restaurant. The investigator gave them 10 minutes to get a table and then went inside to observe. The subject and paramour were at an outside bar area sitting side by side at a picnic table. Eventually the investigator was able to get a photo of them holding hands under the table. There we being very careful not to display any affection that would be seen by others. Once it appeared that they were finished, the investigator setup with a surveillance view of their vehicle in the parking lot. They walked to the car together and stood at the passenger door for a moment looking around. No one else was in the lot so they kissed just prior to the paramour entering the passenger seat. The investigator did not follow them out of the lot and decided to let them go since there was enough evidence to prove adultery. No sense pushing it and getting caught. The investigator arrived at the subject’s residence about 2 minutes after the subject and paramour. Just in time to see the paramour walk to her car alone and drive away.
Beach Anyone ?
Subject owns his own business and has a lot of play time. Investigators cannot setup on his residence, it's too remote. Investigators take up positions at the main intersection near the residence and watch every vehicle passing by out of the neighborhood. Around 10am the subject passes by and the investigators begin to follow. The subject drives to the nearest town and pulls into a small strip mall with about 10 stores. The subject does not part but rather drives around behind the building. Investigators do not follow. Each investigator covers the building from each end. After a couple of minutes the surveillance pulls away and is still alone. The subject drives a short distance to another strip mall. Again he pulls behind the building. The subject exits after a few minutes and is alone. When the subject drives to a third still mall the investigators continue past and discontinue surveillance. It would have been too obvious that they were following him at this point. The following week the client wants to try it again and this time use four investigator, two teams of two. The subject performed the exact same routine except this time the investigators were able to wait at the third location. Unfortunately the subject came out from behind the building and was still alone. When someone is obviously checking to see if they are being followed, it's pretty easy to figure it out. There is only so much an investigator can do. It was decided that all four investigators should break off after following the subject for a few miles after the third stop. Two weeks later six investigators we sent out but with a different strategy. Two investigators would wait at the first stop. Two investigators would wait at the second stop. And two investigators would wait at the third stop. With no one following him this would give investigators the flexibility to be aggressive if all three stops are made by the subject. No one would be following him after each stop but moving to the area and staying out of view. Once it was confirmed that the subject was sticking to his routine, there were now six investigators able to follow him from the third stop. And yes, there was a fourth stop following by meeting a blonde female in a Jeep at the fifth stop. The subject got into her vehicle as the passenger and they drove away. About 15 miles later the subject and paramour arrived at Sandy Point Park. Out came a blank, two chairs and a couple of umbrellas. They positioned themselves far away from the others on the beach. Investigators, all but two, discontinued. The two remaining investigators were able to see the subject and paramour from the parking lot but needed binoculars to do so. Eventually they took a walk on the beach and investigators were able to get behind them and document PDA, holding hands. About two hours later the investigators can see the positioning of the umbrellas and chairs as if to block a clear view of them on the blanket. Surely enough, the subject and paramour begin having sexual intercourse right there on the beach. Investigators were able to use a powerful 90x zoom lens camcorder to capture the footage. The client was updated soon after sex was over and she was a little angry at the investigators for "following the wrong person". The client said that her husband is very well known in the area and would never be seen in public having and affair, yet sex on the beach. Since it was getting late in the afternoon and the subject would have to head home soon, the investigators offered to meet the client and present the video. That was accomplished and the client apologized to the investigators.
Cut Your Grass ?
An insurance fraud case begins in Baltimore City. The subject lives in a row home and there are no vehicles in the subject’s name. One investigator covers the front door while the other investigator watches the alley. Approximately 7am a pickup truck pulling a trailer with lawnmowers on the back pulls down the alley. The investigator is unable to see much in the way of movement. But several minutes later the truck / trailer pulls away. Both private investigators follow the truck to a nearby neighborhood. The subject is observed exiting the vehicle with two others. The subject climbs onto the trailer and gets a standing type lawnmower off. The subject rides the mower down the street to a baseball field. The subject begins mowing the field riding and sometimes running behind the mower. This goes on for about an hour. As the subject brings the mower back to the truck the investigator approaches the subject. The investigators pretends to live in the area and wanted to know if he does lawn service for houses. The subject replies "yes" and hand the investigator a business card. The card not only has the name and number of the business, but the subject’s name as the owner. Since the subject has an ankle injury it is decided that surveillance should discontinue. Approximately one month later the investigators were in court showing the judge their video. Case Closed !