Intermountain PI Podcast

Intermountain PI Podcast

Private Investigator’s Use of Observation on Surveillance

July 09, 2019

I think it all began with her neighbor, Phyllis.  She was this tall older lady in her late 60’s.  Her husband had  passed on a few years ago so she spent a good deal of time out in her yard.
Unfortunately, this gave her a superb vantage point with which to observe the comings and goings of her various neighbors.  As a matter of fact, she would often snitch on them for minor violations of the city code.  As it turned out, it was Phyllis’ snooping that put an end to the hubris and unbridled greed of Rosie and Cherry Jordan; the only mother and teenage daughter insurance fraud team I’ve ever come across.
To begin with, Rose and Cherry had been hit by a utility truck from Dallas County down in Texas. They were legitimately injured. But like many folks, they began to milk their case.  In other words, they began to exaggerate their injuries and drag out their recovery time in the hopes of getting as much money in a settlement as possible.  By the way, you can read the full story in chapter 5 of my book, Confessions of a Private Eye.  
Anyway, a few years before the accident Rosie had said something that angered Phyllis.  It was so long ago that Phyllis couldn’t even remember the exact details.  But Phyllis had held a grudge.  So when Rosie was talking to Phyllis about the accident and mentioned that she was going to take this utility company for every penny they had, Phyllis decided to drop a dime on her.  In short, Phyllis called the utility company.  The utility company called the insurance company.  And the insurance company called me.

“…Phyllis called the utility company.  The utility company called the insurance company.  And the insurance company called me.”

I began surveillance and discovered right away that despite the car accident both Rosie and her daughter Cherry appeared to be in good health.  However, it was my private investigator’s use of observation on surveillance that wrapped up this case in a nice beautiful red bow.  I happened to notice a decal on the rear window of Rosie’s vehicle.  It was one of those stickers with a volleyball on it and Cherry’s name and, if I remember correctly, something about the Lady Colts Varsity team.  Regardless, it was that decal that led to the unraveling of the case and some pretty amazing video.
I’m Utah private investigator Scott Fulmer.  This week I’m talking about a private investigators use of observation on surveillance.
Anyway, I made made a few phone calls and in short order discovered that Cherry played on the Lady Colts Varsity Volleyball team at Arlington High School.  Furthermore, I learned they would be playing the Grand Prairie High School Gophers the following Friday.  Long story short, I was there in the bleachers that Friday.  I spent the entire evening pointing my video camera from the floor to the opposite bleachers.  From Cherry spiking the volleyball with a blood curdling scream, to Rosie in the opposite bleachers doing a victory dance every time her daughter scored.  
In the end, due to the video evidence I obtained, Rosie and Cherry didn’t receive the huge financial windfall they were expecting. They were forced to resolve their claim and received a significantly smaller monetary settlement; one that was more in line with their injuries instead of their exaggerated claims.  All because I of my private investigator’s use of observation on surveillance. And a window decal.
You can do the same thing.  Set up your static surveillance so that you’re in a position to see the subject’s vehicle and residence.