Posts Tagged ‘crime’
In 2010, the National Retail Federation reported shoplifting nationwide increased to $3.6 billion, an 11% increase equaling $37 billion in loss from theft alone. More surprisingly, these figures were primarily from employees stealing on the job, not the customers we all assume shoplifting statistics come from.
Question: Why would an employee steal from their employer in such a fragile economy?
Answer: When employees feel undervalued, the risk of employee theft rises.
Employee theft, specifically in California, can range from potential felony charges of embezzlement and grand theft (over $400); to simple petty theft of miscellaneous store merchandise. Aside from retail theft, corporations are affected as well. Corporations are well known for issuing employees company credit cards and fuel cards for job related expenses. These “access cards” carry a greater risk of being misused for personal use and even 3rd party use (friend or relative), both considered fraud.
In July 2011, the LA Times ran an article about an LA County municipal chief who lost his job. It involved a government gas card tied to personal use of fuel purchases throughout the western United States. Whether it’s a government employee in an esteemed position or a summer intern working for free, employers should realize that internal theft can impact their bottom line and should implement measures to prevent or dissuade employee related theft.
In a difficult economy, a good chunk of employee theft may be due to the “I’ve earned it” or “I’m underpaid” or just simply “the company will hardly notice it” mentality. Remember, one employee can greatly affect your business, especially if it’s a small business with less than 10 employees.
Keeping employees happy and eager to work for you can be an efficient and cost effective way to prevent internal theft. Employees that respect their workplace, feel valued and consider themselves an integral part of the business are often less likely to consider stealing.
Management’s ability to connect with employees on a personal level, yet maintain their supervisory respect can also minimize internal theft. When an employee steals, they are now dissolving the relationship with their manager as well as their employer. A “firm but fair” attitude is best practice in the retail industry, which is prone to higher turn over and historically shows employees being less committed to their employer.
Ryan Garrahy is a licensed private investigator specializing in civil, criminal and insurance related investigations. He is the owner and principal investigator for Orange Investigations.
Many people and organizations are now turning to private investigators and paid public service for assistance in seeking justice. Be it civil liability and personal injury cases, insurance claims and fraud, child custody and protection cases, marital infidelity cases and premarital investigations. PIs are able to assist and get quick results saving time on courtroom trial and thousands of dollars on expensive attorneys.
In paid public services, private detectives use several investigation techniques such as surveillance, interviews, background checks, serving court papers, gather evidence and verify facts about individuals or companies. Detectives may make phone calls or visit a subject’s workplace to verify facts. In missing persons and background check cases, investigators often interview people to gather as much information as possible about an individual.
The evidence gathered by private investigators can be used to solve crimes, win court cases and bring wrongdoers to justice. Private investigations is becoming more popular everyday in our society. College students have new interests in criminal investigations, workers compensation claims investigations, financial investigations and cybercrime investigation techniques.
Paid public service: “Promising” for new Attorneys
Nathan Richardson graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 2009. In spite of receiving highly paid offers from big law firms like Latham & Watkins, he chose to stick to Resources for the Future, a nonprofit policy group based in Washington, where he did legal research on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and climate change. “This is an amazing work environment,” he said. “I’m working with a lot of really smart people and getting published. I’m not sure if there’s anywhere else I could do this, at least at this point in my career.”
Paid public service has emerged as a perfect job option for many fresh lawyers. “For the first time, there is now a public interest lawyer in the Oval Office,” said Diane T. Chin, the director of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School, as one explanation for why more young lawyers are considering service careers.
Alexa Shabecoff, the assistant dean for public service at Harvard Law School, said: “There is an uptick in global interest in public service that has trickled down to the high school level, and students go on to college and law school with a public service ethos.”
Many young lawyers, who have received their training from eminent defense institutions like Peace Corps, the FBI and AmeriCorps, are now serving the cause of getting justice for the public by working in conjunction with the private investigation firms.
Most of the organizations that render the benefit of clean justice through paid public service are non-profitable organizations and private firms who hire the fresh lawyers and PIs who have a zeal for fetching justice for the common man.
Most attorneys who specialize in criminal defense and family law cases, often hire the resources of a licensed private investigator to help on their cases. The investigator may be gathering evidence on a child custody investigation or a criminal matter in which the accused is currently incarcerated, anxiously awaiting any new findings on their case. The investigator often acts as the ‘eyes and ears’ for the attorney, and may gather key pieces of evidence for the attorney’s case. The billing rate of a private investigator is also much less than what an attorney charges a client or company. This aspect can financially help an ongoing investigation, both lowering costs for the client and allowing for additional investigative work that may be needed on their case.
Private citizens can benefit from Paid Public Service
Wonder if it is safe to use paid public service? Well, absolutely and the justice quotient does not get compromised at all. The trained lawyers and PIs are totally focused on public interest and perform activities without compromising the evidences or your privacy.
The justice quotient does not get compromised at all when people make use of the paid public service to claim their rights. Work completed by efficiently trained lawyers and PIs is focused on the specific interest of the private citizen rather than the interests of government.
The commonest cases that are handled through paid public service are related with human rights, civil rights and criminal offense. This big leap in the judicial field of law would surely add a cutting edge to the justice that has been provided by various courts of Law through all these years in America.
The brains of the fresh lawyers and PIs can never be underestimated because of their age. Also, the price of hiring a PI to seek justice costs a lot lesser than hiring a full-fledged lawyer on a discounted price. So, if you are looking forward to some serious justness, bet on paid public service!
Ryan Garrahy is a state licensed private investigator specializing in surveillance, background checks, locating individuals and workplace investigations. He is the owner & principal investigator for Orange Investigations.
A recent article in the Orange County Register caught my attention, it described an elaborate amount of criminal charges on an individual who allegedly defrauded clients while running an unlicensed private investigative business called KMS Investigations. Most of the charges were related to high dollar, white collar crimes. White collar crimes are often sophisticated operations and most need a element of trust to be successful. The most disappointing part of the article was that the unlicensed PI had been accused of running this operation from November of 2005 until June 2010. That’s a long time consumers were at risk. Click here for the OC Register news article. Click here for the Orange County District Attorney press release. The DA asks that anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8814.
Do P.I.’s Have Your Best Interests At Hand? Some May Have Their Own Agenda
As a fully licensed Private Investigator in the State of California, I’ve had the unique opportunity to work on many different types of cases. No matter what the case is, it always starts with a phone call for help. Most call out of necessity, they’re at their “wit’s end” and need a professional investigator’s help. Yes, some are very desperate for answers. Usually when people are desperate, they have a greater chance of being taken advantage of. To be honest, I’ve heard some bad stories from time to time; so do some research, ask questions before you hire. I’ve included some helpful tips below if you should ever need to call on the services of a Private Investigator. Also, take a look at these two articles “What To Expect When Hiring a Private Investigator” (Orange County PI Blog) and “Ethics for Private Investigators” (Compass Point PI)
Private Investigators in just about every state need to be properly licensed. Yes, there are a few states that do not require an individual to be licensed while performing investigative work, but thankfully most do. For instance, a quick Google search for “Private Investigator Licensing Board California” will bring up the the website link for the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services. You can verify the status of any California PI’s license online, anytime. Most other states have the same type of online access available to the general public.
2. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints
The Better Business Bureau keeps records of consumer initiated complaints. The BBB assigns a “letter grade” rating from A to F dependent on the amount of complaints and how the business has responded to address those specific complaints. Checking your local Chamber of Commerce is also recommended. Checking for a city business license may reveal additional information as well.
3. Ask to consult “in-person” with the Investigator
Human intuition and your “gut feeling” can be your greatest asset if you don’t know someone’s reputation. Ask to meet the Investigator “in person” and ask some general questions about the Investigator’s specific experience. Ask if they have handled this type of case before. Ask how much money will be required up front to start the investigation. Also, ask if favorable results can be expected based on the information and circumstances you have provided the detective. Your investigator should be confident, but not too aggressive. Informative, but not pushy. The investigator should be able to give you a realistic evaluation of your case; the good and the bad all in one single consult. The consult should more than likely be free, but ask to make sure.
4. Ask a friend or colleague for a referral
Everyone knows someone who’s in the legal industry, whether it’s an attorney, paralegal, police officer, etc. Ask them if they have ever worked with or know a good PI. Maybe you know a friend who hired a Private Investigator in the past, ask them if the Investigator obtained favorable results, and kept them informed of the progress on the case. Referrals can be a good source, but make sure to do your own due diligence, remember it’s your hard earned money…and PI’s aren’t cheap.
Ryan Garrahy is a state licensed private investigator in Orange County specializing in surveillance, background checks, locating individuals and workplace investigations. He is the owner & principal investigator for Orange Investigations.
UPDATE 01/23/2012: U.S. Supreme Court ruling: ‘Attaching a GPS device to a vehicle then using device to monitor the vehicle’s movements constitutes a search under Fourth Amendment’ – United States v. Jones
Just this morning I read an article in the OC Register about a Costa Mesa cop being charged with hiding a GPS device in a woman’s car without her knowledge so he could follow her. The article didn’t spill many details about the stalking case except that the cop had a prior relationship with the woman and allegedly used the device to randomly show up at locations she traveled to, attempting to “rekindle their relationship”.
This sounds a little far fetched to try and win back an ex-lover, especially when you carry a badge and a gun. If you’re interested in reading the articles, the OC Register story is here and the official District Attorney press release is here.
As a private investigator in Orange County, I’ve had clients ask about GPS tracking devices and how they can be used to keep tabs on a significant other. The first question is never what the device can do or how often it pings the satellites for updates; they ask if it’s legal. Smart, right? Absolutely! They also ask if someone will be able to find the device and if it can be traced back to them. My response: I tell them the inside scoop and then give them a quick print out of the information you see below.
Here’s what the California Penal Code has to say about the use of an Electronic Tracking Device
California Tracking Device Law: California Penal Code section 637.7 states: (a) No person or entity in this state shall use an electronic tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person. (b) This section shall not apply when the registered owner, lesser, or lessee of a vehicle has consented to the use of the electronic tracking device with respect to that vehicle. (c) This section shall not apply to the lawful use of an electronic tracking device by a law enforcement agency. (d) As used in this section, “electronic tracking device” means any device attached to a vehicle or other movable thing that reveals its location or movement by transmission of electronic signals. (e) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
By the way, Section 637.7 refers to all electronic tracking devices, and does not differentiate between those that rely on GPS technology or not. As the laws catch up with the times, it is plausible that all 50 states will eventually enact laws similar to those of California. It also allows a maximum of six months in jail if convicted. That sure seems like a lot of time in jail for keeping an eye on someone. Here’s a “Hotsheet” on law enforcement’s rules and regulations for using GPS trackers, written by Deputy DA James Hosking.
Tracking devices are great, don’t get me wrong, the technology is truly amazing. There is nothing more enjoyable than helping out a client in need, but not without letting them know the law and the ramifications of illegal use. Additionally, hiring a private investigator who is properly licensed and knowledgeable with state laws should be able to steer you in the right direction on choosing the device that’s right for your particular situation. Knowing when and where these devices can be used is key to keeping yourself out of unnecessary trouble.
Ryan Garrahy is a state licensed private investigator specializing in surveillance, background checks, worker’s compensation claims investigations, locating individuals and workplace investigations.