Private Investigator Myths vs Facts

Private Detectives Los Angeles

A Private Investigator Can Follow Someone. – FACT

“Following someone” is referred to as surveillance in the legal world. Surveillance is the practice of closely observing someone and documenting the interactions, locations, persons, activities the subject is involved in, and at Paramount Investigative Services we specialize in surveillance.

A Private Investigator follow someone with GPS – BOTH

In the state of California, as long as your name is on the title of the car, it is perfectly legal to put a GPS tracker on the car. This comes in handy when working an infidelity case and you’re trying to track your spouse. For example, if a man suspects his wife is cheating and wants her car to be tracked, we can put a GPS tracker on her car as long as his name is on the title.  GPS tracking laws vary by state.

A PI Can Hack into Someone’s Phone or Computer. – MYTH

Hacking a phone or computer is not only illegal but is very difficult to do, especially if you own an Apple product. Although we are unable to hack into someone’s phone, we have contractors who can tell you if your phone has been hacked into.  (Luckily, if you own a Iphone you need to make sure the software is up to date.  If it’s “jailbroken” it then can be hacked and NOT updated.

A Private Investigator Can Get Travel Information like Hotel Reservations or Airplane Tickets. – MYTH

Most of the time a private company is not going to give out their customer’s private information, so a private investigator Is not going to be able to access this information. A company is not going to risk losing customers, or getting sued, to give out personal info. For a private investigator this can be frustrating, but as a consumer it is a relief.

A Private Investigator Can Get Bank Statements -NOT Legally

Private investigators have contractors who can get limited banking information in order to stay legal and only certain information can be provided to the clients attorney.

Private Investigators are Awesome -Fact

Though we are nothing like what you see on TV and I’m sure you’ve seen it all.  Sadly, the way TV portrays our abilities to get information is far fetched to say the least.  Often times law enforcement CAN NOT do or perform the way TV represents our industry.  Information these days is not a google search away or a phone call to a mysterious voice.  Sadly, we have to put in time, money, and investigative hours to get what is needed.  Example; google yourself and see what is available online.  Try your name in lower case, add some quotation marks on each end to see what pops up.  If nothing, add your city to see what pops up and finally try your phone number.  You’ll see it’s all bogus companies trying to sell information.  So trust me when I say this, Edward Snowden is NOT gang stalking you….  Or is he???

Drone Investigations

Today’s investigations have changed thanks to drones. The days of capturing an image from Google Maps are a thing of the past! We use drones when standard surveillance won’t cut it as the drone offers a perspective you would not get with a normal camera. My investigation firm favors the “DJI” drone because it is affordable and easy to fly. I personally buy a few “DJI” drones a year. I buy them used, as I’m not the most adept at flying them (so if I break it, it’s not a big deal), and they produce high quality images.

Criminal Investigations and Drones:

Recently, I used a drone for a criminal investigation to prove my client’s innocence. In this case, my client had a verbal confrontation with a pedestrian at an intersection near McDonald’s. My client drove away and went to the McDonald’s. While my client was in the drive-thru line at the McDonald’s, the pedestrian reappeared and the two had a second verbal confrontation. The pedestrian claimed my client was the aggressor and accused my client of driving after him to harass him, but my drone images proved that the pedestrian went out of his way to follow my client.

I flew the drone 400 feet over the intersection and captured a high-quality image. Then, I mapped out the path the pedestrian walked to get to my client’s car in the McDonald’s drive-thru. With this image, I was able to demonstrate to the district attorney that the pedestrian had to walk 300 feet to reach my client, making it clear that the pedestrian was the aggressor.