Private Investigator Services by Retired GBI Agents - Georgia License #PDC001751

Over 350 cheating spouses caught

SPI's Blog

Read up on the latest updates on the services and advice that Southern Professional Investigations can offer you.
JUL
22

Police Chief Investigation

We conducted an internal investigation on the Police Chief of Hiram, GA at the request of the City Council. After interviewing all of the officers and numerous former officers we determined there was some definite problems within the police department. Before we could make our presentation to the City Council, the chief resigned. Follow this link for a news article on Channel 2, WSB

By: Brad Schrade

The Watchdog Blog

February 7, 2018 2:30 AM

Problems have grown so dire in the Hiram Police Department that City Council took the unusual step of hiring a private investigator to look into the Chief Todd Vande Zande’s actions.Now, with the inquiry nearing its end, the chief doesn’t want the details of the investigator’s findings aired in public. He hastendered his resignation hoping to “eliminate the council’s need to discuss in any detail the findings of that investigation,”according to a report by Channel 2 Action News.Some officers say the department in the small city 27 miles northwest of Atlanta has been in turmoil since Vande Zande took over in 2013. More than half of the cops in the small 21-officer agency have left during his tenure. The council last week discussed the private investigator’s findings in a closed-door executive session.

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  1683 Hits
1683 Hits
SEP
08

Client - how you can help your investigator / investigation

In a previous blog, we provided an update on how to choose the right private investigation company and we provided information related to retainers.  In this blog we will talk about what you as the client can do to help your investigator/investigation.  In future blogs we will talk about (a) surveillance – reality vs. perception, pros and cons; (b) GPS units; and (c) cell phone forensics – what you can and can’t do.   

The majority of our calls are from a spouse or significant other who suspects their spouse/partner is cheating.  When you suspect your spouse/partner is cheating; is it a gut feeling or have you seen one or more of the following “red flags”?  Your spouse/partner changes their behavior, such as dressing differently, spending more time than usual at the gym, working late more than usual, or unexplained absences from home.  Your spouse/partner recently password protected their cell phone and they refused to give you the password; they receive unexplained telephone calls and/or texts; they delete their call history and/or texts frequently.   The list goes on …

What you as the client can do to help your investigator/investigation.

  1. The first thing you need to consider is – what do you want?  Do you just need peace of mind that you’re not imagining things?  Do you want to catch them and then confront?  Do you want a divorce?  Many times when a client calls us, they have already confronted their spouse/partner.  It probably went like this:  you confronted them, they denied the allegation, their behavior changed briefly for the better, and then something happened to arouse your suspicions again.  Unless there is true repentance, people will go back to their old behavior.  We are not counselors; we are professional private investigators.  Our experience has shown normally you have one opportunity to get the evidence you need.  Once you get the evidence, then you can decide how you want to use it. It’s not a bad idea to get your “ducks in a row” first – just in case. 

  2. Develop a plan.  Once you’ve considered what you want to do, you and your investigator need to develop a plan.  Will your investigation involve a background check?  Will your investigation involve surveillance and/or the use of a GPS unit?  Will your investigation take one or two investigators?  Will your investigation require night/weekend surveillance?  How long will your investigation take?  And, plan for the unexpected. 

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1143 Hits
OCT
06

Droid Spyware Check

Recently we attended training on how to determine if spyware has been placed on an Android phone. The very next day we received a call from a client wanting his Droid cell phone checked for spyware. After running several test and applying the skills and techniques recently learned, we were able to advise the client his phone had not been compromised and it was safe to use. We expect more calls like this as the Droid phone becomes very popular with the public.

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  936 Hits
936 Hits
MAY
30

New Location added


Jim Baker has recently moved to the Canton, Cherokee County, Georgia area. We now have an experienced investigator located in the northwest part of Georgia for all of your investigative needs. We are still operating out of the Gwinnett County and Gainesville area. 

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  1437 Hits
1437 Hits
JUL
26

Our First "FOURSOME"

We recently worked a case for a husband who suspected his wife was cheating on him. He advised us that he would be out of town with the kids and that his wife was going out of town to Savannah. However he had learned that she was going to meet her boyfriend at a motel near the Atlanta airport. With that information we were ready to begin the surveillance. We documented the boyfriends arrival at the motel and to our suprise he had two additional females with him. We contacted the client and he informed us that it may be two females from New York that comes down and visits with the boyfriend on occassion. We also learned the boyfriend is married and has kids. We continued surveillance at the hotel and the client's wife arrived about 1:30 am. Mike was in the parking lot and I was set up in the lobby. As she entered the motel I obtained discreet video of her taking the elevator up to the second floor and entering the room where she remained the rest of the night. On Saturday morning all four of them came out and piled into the boyfriends vehicle and went to various locations in the Atlanta, GA area such as shopping and restaurants. We remained at the motel and waited for them to return. Later that evening we obtained more video of all of them arriving and entering the same room. They remained in the room all night until they checked out the next morning. As they exited the motel, the boyfriend had a big smile on his face, but we knew that would not last long after he learned of our video.

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  1424 Hits
1424 Hits
JUN
07

To Reconcile or Not to Reconcile; That is the Question

 

We recently had a case where the husband contacted us and stated that he and his wife were in the process of getting a divorce. He stated they had already agreed to the terms regarding child support, alimony and division of property. Within the next few days, he was scheduled to sign the papers, but he had a gut feeling something was not right. He requested us to conduct surveillance on her. Within in just a few days, we had confirmed his suspicions, she was having an affair with her personal trainer from the gym where she worked out. We then continued surveillance and documented her spending the night with the boyfriend at his apartment. With this evidence this changed the entire situation. Unfortunately the client called his wife immediately after we updated him and informed her he had hired us and we had video documentation of the affair. The wife became furious. We had warned the client not to do this, but to no avail. Within 24 hours his wife after doing some serious thinking realized she was now on the defense and was in a very compromising position. She called her husband and told him she wanted to reconcile. The client called us and his attorney and both of us told him not to do this right now. We thought she was “playing him”. We explained to him that if they have sex after he has been informed of the affair, under the law he is forgiving his wife for the adultery. He assured us they would go slow and not have sex. They got together that night and she spent the night with him. She left the next morning and within a few hours called him on the phone and told him she had changed her mind and wanted to proceed with the divorce. By the clients bad decision he made all of our evidence null and void not to mention the money he wasted paying for our services.

 

Our position is that if you can save your marriage, by all means do everything you can to do that, especially if children are involved. Our advice is to take it slow and make sure the reconciliation offer is sincere. Seek professional counseling and if it works out great. But be very careful if you have documented evidence of an illicit affair that you can use in court, DON’T THINK WITH THE WRONG HEAD!

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  950 Hits
950 Hits
FEB
17

Cheating Wife

A few months ago a client from the Sandy Springs, GA area contacted me and stated he suspected his wife was having an affair with an old high school sweetheart. I provided him with a GPS tracking unit to place on her car. He said that she had told him she was scheduled to go up to north Georgia to a Bed and Breakfast for a few days for massage and quiet time. Thank goodness we had the assistance of the GPS. She went to a new bed and breakfast up near Helen, GA which was located at the top of a mountain. I arrived a short time after she did and set up surveillance in the parking lot. I spotted a car with a out of state license plate where the suspected boyfriend was from. After about an hour I saw the wife and her boyfriend exit from the building holding hands. I followed them into Helen and watched them have dinner and do some tourist shopping. They returned to the Bed and Breakfast where they spend the night together. I returned early the next morning, and watched them check out and carry their luggage to their respective vehicles. They then walked up to a porch swing, where they remained for about one hour holding hands, talking and kissing. They then went back to the cars and drove down the mountain to a nearby restaurant and had lunch. After exiting the restaurant they stood out by their cars and engage in passionate kissing and hugging. Of course all of this was on video. The husband was happy with me, but very unhappy with his wife.

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  1274 Hits
1274 Hits
FEB
10

Cell Phone Records

In the past few weeks, I have had two potential clients call and ask if I can obtain cell phone records associated with their spouse's cell phone. When I tell them no, it is a violation of state and federal law, their response has been, "The other PI Company I called said they could." The only way you can obtain cell phone records is through a court order or subpoena and these so called "Professional" companies are aware of this. It appears they are more interested in making a dollar, than working in a lawful and ethical manner. If you elect to engage their services, then you are exposing yourself to civil and criminal liability. Not only that, if it comes out in court that you illegally obtained this information, you are going to look worse than your cheating spouse. If this is the only way to confirm your spouse is cheating and identify the other person, don't you think a good attorney is going to know that and question you or the investigator on how they obtained this information?

These unethical practices only take place on a few occasions and is not industry wide. I encourage anyone thinking of engaging the services of one of these companies, THINK TWICE! Is it worth the risk to have a felony arrest just for cell phone records. Another factor you want to consider is if this company is willing to violate the federal and state laws, WHAT ELSE ARE THEY WILLING TO DO,  with or without your knowledge!  If you hire them, then they are acting on your behalf. If you or the investigator get caught doing this, do you think the PI company is going to assist you in your defense? Are they going to help defend you in a criminal prosecution? I don't think so.

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  947 Hits
947 Hits
AUG
18

GPS "works again"

This past Monday a client rented a GPS unit from us to put on her husband's vehicle.  She suspected he was having an affair.  On the very first day we caught him going to his ex-wife's residence and spending the afternoon with her.  Of course he told his wife he was at work.  Well today he did the same thing.  This time he picked up the ex-wife and took her to a nearby state park south of Atlanta.  His wife drove down there and caught them having a nice lunch together.  I cautioned her about the GPS unit and told her if he suspected it was on his truck she would never see it again.  I underestimated her.  After confronting her husband and the ex, she marched outside, crawled under the truck, removed the GPS unit and left.  Another cheating spouse bites the dust!

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  874 Hits
874 Hits
JUL
15

Cell Phone Spyware Update

We receive calls weekly asking if we can detect spyware on a cell phone.  This seems to be a growing concern, especially in domestic related matters.  Before we give you some questions to consider, you need to know it is illegal to install spyware on someone else’s cell phone. 

If you think your cell phone has been compromised, consider these questions.  Have you loaned your cell phone to anyone or allowed someone, possibly your spouse, to use your cell phone and they were outside your presence for at least 10 minutes? Have you downloaded an attachment from an email or text message from an unknown source?  Does the battery on your cell phone drain more than usual?  Do you experience a problem when trying to shut down your cell phone?  Is your cell phone bill higher than usual and/or you see a higher number of text messages than you know you have sent?  Is there a new icon on your cell phone that you didn’t put there?   Do others know more about your daily activities than they should know?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have spyware on your cell phone. 

Do you think your cell phone is infected with spyware?  Contact Southern Professional Investigations at 770-985-6203 for a free consultation.

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  856 Hits
856 Hits
MAR
21

Christmas Present- Missing Person

A few years ago one December night, I received a telephone call from a frantic mother. She lived up north and told me her teenage daughter was missing. The 19 yr old had moved out and began living with her boyfriend approximately six months ago and they were living in a nearby state with his relatives. The mother told me she had not heard from her daughter since then. Earlier on this day, she had received a call from Gwinnett County Police Department advising her that her car had been impounded in Lawrenceville. The mother told me her daughter was driving the car and had no idea she was in Georgia and had no idea why she would be in Georgia. She told me she had checked her daughter's Facebook page and she had not logged in for the past three months. She then checked the boyfriend's Facebook page and he had checked his status as single and he was looking for a relationship. This did not sound good to me. The mother asked that I try to find out if her daughter was in Georgia and if she was ok. The first thing that went through my mind is that she was deceased and laying in the woods somewhere. I requested the mother to call the impound lot and authorize me to search the vehicle.

The next morning I went to the impound lot and searched the vehicle in the pouring rain. The only thing I found were some paystubs from a restaurant in Dacula where she had been employed. I also learned the car had been towed from the side of the road in Dacula after sitting there for several days.  From there I went to the restaurant and spoke to the manager. He told me the daughter had worked there for several months, but a few weeks ago she did not show up for work and they had not heard from her since. They told me her boyfriend had been banned from the restaurant because he had caused a few disturbances with other customers who apparently were too friendly with his girlfriend. So now I was concerned about the boyfriend's temper and his jealous nature. I requested the last address for the girl, but the manager stated he could not provide that. He would not provide any more information. As he went back to his office and I was preparing to leave, another woman who was employed there, took me off to the side and gave me a telephone number that she had for the missing girl. I called the number and it was no longer in service.

I arrived back in my office around 6:30 PM and ran a search on the telephone number. I came up with a name and address that was not familiar with the mother. I went to the address and upon arrival there were lights on in the house. I knocked on the door and the boyfriend came to the door. I asked to speak to his girlfriend and he said just a minute, she is asleep. My heart jumped, she was alive. A few minutes later she came to the door and we talked a few minutes and I told her that her mother had asked me to find her. She confided in me that the car had broke down and she had no money to have it repaired. Her boyfriend was not working either. She said she had not called her mother because she was too embarrassed about her situation. I told her that her mother was frantic about her safety. While both of us were standing on the front porch, I called the mother and told her she needed to speak to someone. The daughter got on the phone and she started crying, I then got on the phone and the mother was crying and was yelling that she couldn't believe I had found her missing daughter in less then 24 hrs. She told me this was the best Christmas present she had ever received. Well, after hearing that I got teary eyed. The majority of the time with my carreer with the GBI, it was not usually good news that I was telling the parents or relatives. I told the daughter to tell her mother she would call her back in a few minutes, so I could get my phone back and leave. The daughter gave me a hug and said "Thank you". The next morning the mother called me again and could not thank me enough and told me again this was the best present she had ever received. The next Christmas I received a Christmas card from the mother bringing me up to date on her daughter and how things have improved. The daughter was staying in touch with the family and again she was very grateful for finding her missing daughter. This case had a very happy ending for everyone. The mother and daughter reunited and happy, and I know I was on cloud 9.

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  792 Hits
792 Hits
DEC
28

Some Information is Better than NO Information

Without getting too technical, deleted text messages can be recovered on most cell phones if they have not been "overwritten".  However, most of our request involve attempting to recover text messages that have been deleted for quite some time which means they most likely have been overwritten by other messages.  A recovered text message may show only parts of a message and / or the cell phone number associated with a message.  However, the good news is - some information is better than no information

Recently we had a request to recover text messages from an Android cell phone.  Our client was not only hoping to recover deleted text messages but also find a specific cell phone number that had been texted.  The recovered messages and cell phone number would prove the spouse had been texting someone they claimed they had not texted.  The analysis process took several hours.  Deleted text messages were recovered but due to having been overwritten by other messages, entire text messages were not recoverable.  However, we were able to recover some of the cell phone numbers the spouse had texted and the specific cell phone number the client was looking for was recovered.  It proved without a doubt the spouse had texted messages to the number and we were able to prove they had received texts from the number. 

If you want to recover information from a cell phone, give us a call at 770-985-6203.  We may be able to help you.  Remember: Some information is better than no information.

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  1207 Hits
1207 Hits
NOV
06

Better Sooner than Later!!

We receive numerous calls from prospective clients requesting surveillance on their spouse.  The usual scenario goes like this:  I suspected my spouse was cheating.  I confronted them with their unusual behavior and the text messages I found and they admitted to the affair.  They promised not to see the person again and we tried to work things out.  Well, after several months I suspected they were cheating again.  I found more evidence to support the affair and now they have moved out of the house.  I need evidence for court.

If you suspect your spouse is cheating, it is better to get your evidence “sooner than later”.  There are several reasons why.  It is easier to gather evidence if they are still living in the house.  You can monitor their activities to see whether or not they are telling you the truth about where they have been.  If you are considering using a GPS, it is easier for you to install it.  You can gather supporting evidence using the GPS to know exactly where your spouse is compared to where they tell you they are.  Documentation can be crucial to show your spouse is having an affair and to show their attempts to hide the affair.  And depending on the judge who resides over your case, he/she may rule according to “today’s moral standards” and not the law.  We were contacted by a client who hired us to verify the "cheating" spouse was continuing their affair.  The cheating spouse had moved out of the house.  Our client wanted the evidence for court.  We conducted surveillance and gathered the evidence showing the spouse was still having the affair.  We went to court; however, the judge wouldn’t allow testimony about the affair solely because the cheating spouse had already moved out.  The judge stated “today’s moral standards” would be applied to the case.  The judge stated if the evidence about the affair had been gathered while the spouse was still living in the house, it would be allowed.  The good news in this case was our client still received what they wanted as far as the settlement. 

Don’t wait, get your evidence “sooner than later”

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  1197 Hits
1197 Hits
SEP
10

Update for 2015

The past several months have been very busy for us. We completed an internal investigation on a police chief and uncovered possible criminal activity. We referred the case to the District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution. Then we conducted the background investigations on applicants for Chief of Police Chief in Peachtree City, GA. After an extensive investigation on the applicants, the city recently hired Janet Moon as the new Chief. This summer we were requested to serve a subpoena to a former Atlanta Braves player who was avoiding service. After a week of searching, we located him up near Cartersville, GA while he was coaching a baseball team. He was served and he was not a happy camper. On the domestic side we are currently at 20 cheating spouses for the year. Two of those were doctors who thought they were pretty smart and couldn't get caught. One of the doctors I had already caught last year and he swore to his wife that the affair was over and he would not cheat again. Guess what, caught him again with the same woman. Then another doctor had been confronted by his wife in the early summer and he admitted to an affair, but again said he had ended it back in June and was behaving himself. The wife asked us to analyze his cell phone. I picked up the phone and he gave permission for us to examine it. I knew something was up because he was acting too calm. He reset his phone and there was nothing to retrieve. However the examination revealed that he had signed into a wireless network at the Hyatt Regency in Buckhead on August 5 of this year. When he was confronted with that, he again admitted he had continued the affair with his girlfriend. Another interesting case was involving a cheating husband. I was conducting surveillance on him near Northlake Mall and caught him with his girlfriend out shopping. The big surprise here was the girlfriend appeared to be about 6 months pregnant. People never suprise me anymore. 

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  1218 Hits
1218 Hits
APR
28

Hiring A PI

In the past few weeks, I have received numerous calls from people that have never contacted a private investigator for any reason. They are nervous and sometimes embarrassed especially if they are calling about the possibility of their spouse cheating on them. The first comment they normally make is "I never thought I would be calling you. What is the procedure that I need to follow. Where do I start?" I thought that I would blog about this topic and try to give potential new clients an idea of what to expect when they call.
The

The first thing I try to do is to calm the caller down and tell them there is nothing to be nervous about and especially nothing to be nervous about. I assure them that anything they tell me will be in held in confidence, whether they employ my services or not. The next thing they want to to know is how much is it going to cost them. I then explain to them that it all depends on the type of case and if it is a cheating spouse, it really depends on the spouse in question and their activity. In some cases I have gone out the first time and caught the spouse. In other cases it has taken several weeks. Again it really depends on how often the cheating spouse attempts to meet up with their "friend". I ask the caller some details about what they already suspect. Do you have an idea who your spouse is seeing? Do you know if it is occurring during the day or at night.? Is it also taking place on the weekends. The more information the client has about their spouse's illicit activity will help narrow down the scope of the investigation and assist us in determining the best time to conduct surveillance. For example, one client may tell me that her husband seems to work late every Wednesday evening. So what that tells us, we need to concentrate on that evening, instead of conducting surveillance on other days and he may not be doing anything wrong. We save time and the client saves money. Other clients just have a feeling their spouse is cheating, but as far as any other information, they are clueless. When that happens I try to ask more detailed questions to try and narrow it down somewhat. I then ask them to consider using a GPS tracker on the vehicle. Even though there is a cost for the use of the GPS, it is way cheaper and cost effective than paying an investigator by the hour to watch the spouse for 8 hours and he does nothing. The GPS shows us their patterns of travel and then we can set up our surveillance around that information.

Another question I ask the caller is if they can provide a photo of their spouse and a physical description. They can email that to us. I ask for the description of the vehicle they drive and the license plate number. I also ask what their spouse's normal routine is so if I see anything on the GPS that doesn't fit, then I know we may have to respond. I also explain to the caller that I, like most investigative companies require a retainer before beginning the investigation. Usually this is in the amount of $1,000 to $1,500. I always advise my clients that I will not go beyond the retainer amount unless they authorize it, so they will not be hit with a large bill that they were not expecting. The client always knows where they are regarding the budget. I also require the client to sign a written contract which depicts the date the investigation is to begin along with the amount of the retainer paid at the time. The contract spells out the services and the hourly rate that will be charged including an additional charge if a second investigator is needed for the surveillance. In addition if court testimony or conferences with your attorney are needed, the normal hourly rate is charged.  The contract will also stated that within 7 days of completion of the investigation a written report, video and photographs obtained will be provided to the client or their attorney.

I hope this answers most of the questions that a new client may have. If not just ask.

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  807 Hits
807 Hits
JUL
07

Employee Theft

We recently had a client in the Alpharetta, GA area contact us regarding his suspicions of his house keeper was stealing checks from him and then forging his signature and cashing the checks. We provided him a covert camera to place in the kitchen area of his home and within a couple of days we caught her. You can see in the video that she removes a check from the check book and puts it in her pocket. Further investigation indicated she had been doing this for a while and had stolen over a $1,0000 from him. We confronted her with the video and of course she had no choice to admit to the theft. 

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  1271 Hits
1271 Hits
JUN
10

UPDATE ON CHOOSING A PI

Over the past 6 months I have had several clients employ our services after first hiring another local company. I will not name the company, but I have had too many clients calling and complaining about the high cost, poor service, and the way they were treated by this company. One bad egg makes it difficult for all of the good ones. I want to cover again what you need to consider when deciding to hire the services of a private investigator. First make sure the company you call is local and licensed in Georgia. There are several companies that advertise on the web and it appears they are located in Georgia, but they are not. And they are NOT licensed in Georgia. Normally when you call them they talk and leave you with that impression, but as soon as you tell them you want to hire them, they get your details and then they call a licensed PI in Georgia and have them work the case for them at a very reduced rate. I have experienced where these companies will charge approximately $150 per hour and then pay the sub contractor in GA about $50 per hour. You will received a report with the company letter head that you first called, having no idea someone else worked the case.

The next thing you need to consider is doing your due diligence. You absolutely have to do your research on the company/investigator that you are considering hiring to work for you. There are a few places you can go to and find out a lot of information about the company. The first place is the Secretary of State web site http://sos.ga.gov/  Then go to the licensing section and look under Private Detective Agency. Search and see if they are currently licensed. Then look and see if they have had any complaints filed against them and if the State Board took any action against them. Next go to a web site http://www.ripoffreport.com/ and enter the company name and/or the owner of the company and see if anything comes up. You will be surprised at what you may find. Ask the owner or whoever you speak with for them to provide you with some references. The company should be able to provide names of attorneys they have done work for or worked with. We have developed numerous attorney contacts over the years and are very willing to give you several names to contact. We will not just give you 1 or 2 but as many as you want. Another place you should check before making a decision is the courthouse in the county where the company is located. Most of the metro counties are online and you can check in just a few minutes. Go to the State or Superior Court website and check for Civil cases under the company name and/or owners name. See how many times they have had cases filed against them and how many times they have filed cases against their former clients. 

You should consider the investigator's background and experience. Just because someone you talk to over the phone or meet in person talk a "good game", that does not mean that is the person that is going to be conducting the investigation or surveillance. They may tell you that they will be supervising the investigation, but what that means they will be supervising from their office. With Southern Professional Investigations, you are talking and meeting with the investigators that will be doing the investigation. 

A red flag should go up, when you hear the investigator start pressing you for money. If their emphasis is on the retainer and getting you to sign the contract, BE VERY CAUTIOUS!!!!! I am not saying that an investigator/company should not ask you for payment, I'm saying that it should not be their main focus. The focus should be on you and what you need done during the investigation.  I just finished an investigation for a client that paid another company $8,000 for 12 days of surveillance on her husband and had very little to show for it. They provided her a very nice "packaged report" with pictures of her husband driving down the road. I asked the client what a picture proves of her husband driving his car down the road by himself? All it proves is that he was by himself and he can drive and the investigator was following him. Other than that it wasn't worth the $150 per hour the client was charged. In addition to the money, PLEASE READ THE CONTRACT!!!  In Infidelity cases, the spouse is very upset most of the time and just wants the investigator to catch their cheating spouse. They are so upset they just sign the contract without even looking at it. Some companies have a NON REFUNDABLE retainer clause in the contract. If you sign the contract and 2 hours later you change your mind, sorry you are out the retainer. Almost all PI companies will require you to pay a retainer before the work begins. Most companies will charge from $1,000 to $2,500. That is reasonable. Just make sure if they don't use it all that you will be refunded the balance. Also make sure the contract spells out what you want and don't want done. In one case, the client told the company if her husband traveled down a certain highway in a certain direction she knew where he was going and he did not need to be followed. The investigator followed the husband anyway, and on top of that there were two investigators and the client was charged by the hour for both of them and the mileage, even after telling them not to follow him if he went into this area. I know what you are thinking, I WOULD NOT HAVE PAID IT. However the contract was worded in a way the client did not have a choice or they would have ended up in a civil suit in court. If you pay by credit card, make sure that the retainer is the only charge authorized by you to be put on the card. Make sure the contract states that any additional charges have to be approved in advance by email or text by you for another charge to your card. If not, then you are allowing the company to continue charging your card as they deem necessary. Trust me, it has happened and is still happening. 

We hope this information will be beneficial to you as a potential client of ours or another company if you choose them.  

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  1432 Hits
1432 Hits
NOV
16

Surveillance – reality vs. perception; pros and cons

Surveillance is the monitoring of behavior and / or activities; i.e., closely watching over someone or something.  Types of surveillance include, but are not limited to, audio surveillance, video surveillance, and mobile surveillance.  The types of surveillances we are routinely requested to do are video and mobile surveillance.  They usually go together.  In Georgia, audio surveillance is illegal unless there is one-party consent to the conversation. 

The perception of conducting mobile surveillance is that it’s easy to do.  Anyone can follow someone else.  On television, it’s depicted as being easy.  I’m sure you’ve seen on television a vehicle at night, parked on a deserted street, and the occupant – most likely a police officer or private investigator is watching someone.  The target walks out, gets into their vehicle, and drives off.  Then, the police officer or private investigator turns on their headlights, pulls out, and follows the target without being detected.  Yea; right.  It doesn’t happen that way.  The reality is surveillance isn’t easy.  It takes practice; it takes experience; and there are techniques a good private investigator will use to keep from being detected and not lose the target. 

If you’re a prospective client in a domestic investigation, it is much easier for us to conduct surveillance if you haven’t recently accused your spouse or significant other of being unfaithful.  They will be relaxed; they most likely will not pay attention to anyone around them; and they will go about their normal activities.  If you have recently accused them of being unfaithful, they will be careful and most likely be looking for someone following them. 

If you’re a prospective client in a child custody investigation, it is much easier for us to conduct surveillance if you haven’t accused your spouse (or ex) or significant other of doing something to the child or children or accused them of not being a good parent or caregiver.  The same as above applies to their behavior. 

If you’re a prospective client in a workers’ compensation investigation, it is best to hire a private investigator long before litigation.  The claimant is usually not concerned with anyone checking on their activities. 

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1287 Hits
SEP
11

Cheating Husband

We recently were contacted by a wife who suspected her husband was having an affair. She was scheduled to go out of state for a week associated with her job and wanted us to watch him. On a Sunday evening he drove her to the airport and as soon as he dropped her off, he went straight to an apartment complex in Roswell, GA. We went there and located his car, but due to the large size of the apartment compex, we could not determine which apartment he was visiting. He was there for several hours and then went back to his home in Buford, GA. The next eveing we were waiting for him at the apartment complex. Whe he got off work he came directly to the complex. He pulled into a parking space in front of one of the buildings and remained seated in his car. Another car followed him and parked nearby. A young girl in her early 20's exited the car and walked over to him and began talking with him. She then went upstairs to her apartment and returned about five minutes later. She got in the husband's car and they left. We followed them to the clients house in Buford, where they spent the night. Needless to say, when I updated the client she was pissed. Not only was she upset we had confirmed the affair, but that he had the nerve to take the girlfriend to her home. We continued surveillance on the home to get the "money shot" of them exiting the house. The remained there until 6 PM then ext day. However we did get the video of them coming out of the house together. It appeared the girlfriend was pregnant. The husband was in his late 40's and the girl in her early 20's.

When the wife returned from out of town, she confronted him about the affair. He admitted the affair and the girl was pregnant, but the baby was not his. I think the percentages of that being his baby were pretty high, Dont you?

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1743 Hits
MAR
23

2015 Starts Off WITH A BANG

We were very busy in January and February of this year. We were requested to conduct an internal investigation on a police chief regarding complaints filed by a citizen of the community against him. After a three week investigation, the results were discussed with the city council in executive session. One week later the chief submitted his resignation after he was informed there were enough votes to dismiss him. After his resignation, further witnesses came forward and provided information of a possible criminal act. These allegations were investigated and at the request of the City Attorney were turned over to the GBI for further investigation. As of today, 3/23/15, the GBI is still pursuing the case against the chief.

The month of March was no different. During the past few weeks we have worked two internal theft cases for major corporations where they suspected employee theft. The first case was in Gainesville and after two weeks of surveillance we identified five employees involved in the theft of the company's product and determined they were selling it to their friends. We video taped the theft two weeks in a row and then turned the results over to the Gainesville Police Department. As of today, five employees have been terminated and they are expected to be arrested in the coming weeks. In addition, the police were able to identify the subjects coming to the site and purchasing the product. We have been informed that arrest warrants will probably be issued for these subjects. We anticipate 10 to 12 persons being arrested as a result of our investigation. 

We had no sooner completed that investigation, when another corporation contacted us and said they had suspicions some of their employees were stealing product from them and selling them to flea markets. They anticipated several thousand dollars of inventory missing. We started the investigation, and within days identified a supervisor who was taking the products off site in a U-Haul truck several times a week. He was selling the product to several vendors at flea markets in the south Atlanta area. In addition we determined the supervisor was using other employees under his supervision to work a side job he had developed over the past nine months . All of these employees were working the midnight shift and the supervisor pretty much could do whatever he wanted. We documented over the past several months he would transport two or three of the employees under his supervision to other businesses to conduct janitorial services, The catch was he was not paying these employees to do this work for him. He was letting them get paid by our client who thought they were on their premises working for them. The employees were afraid to say anything for fear of being fired by the supervisor. We are wrapping up the investigation and anticipate the supervisor will be terminated within a few days. 

In addition to all of the above mentioned investigations, we caught six cheating spouses during this same perior of time. 

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1155 Hits