This afternoon I decided to write on something I became involved in yesterday evening and it was a very fast but a simple case that took me just a few hours to unravel.
I had a friend call me who owns his own Security Firm, he was talking to me about how he was on the brink of losing a security contract he has had for several months at a hotel because of a rash of break-ins and thefts so I asked him how far into his investigation he was and he told me “I am not doing one”
All of your good Security Contractors have an Investigations firm in some shape or form be they in-house investigators or be they an investigation firm they contract with. I also discussed the intersection of Law Enforcement with Security in 1 shape or another and this will explain a little why it is important to have an Investigator on hand. This will also touch a little bit on Resort and Casino security as they are high profile targets for theft rings along the coast or anywhere they have a large number of tourists.
A majority of times you will want to have an experienced investigator on staff when you secure properties that attract a large number of guests be they tourists or gamblers or you secure a fulfillment center such as Amazon or any other company which hires seasonal or employees sent in from an employment agency to take up slack during a holiday. Criminals seem to think that just because they are tourists that investigations will not go far which is true to an extent but a good security firm will investigate no matter if it is 1 theft or many thefts and in this particular case the thefts were well above a 20k in 3 months.
Just a little background on this case. Chris contacted me and explained he has had a hotel account which he got because another Security firm lost it after a rash of break-ins and thefts no one could figure out. So after obtaining some information on the old company I contacted them and realized in just 2 minutes they did not look into these cases either because they felt it was not the job of the Security Company to do so and me being the smart ass I am said “And how did that work out for you” and hung up.
So when we talk about Law Enforcement or we talk about Security both are in the business to know who, what, when, where and why. These are just straightforward common questions any good Security or Investigations companies will know. If you believe for 1 minute that those are questions you do not need to worry about I can honestly tell you that you A. need to forward your clients to me or B get out of this business because those questions are the least you should know.
It does not take a rocket scientist to investigate a Major or Minor crime by following simple investigative techniques. If you are able to watch youtube even you can get the simple ground rules for not only Chain of evidence but also investigations.
If a new employee can’t even fill in those blanks your firm really has no place in this field.
So this morning I started with them simple questions which started to fill in what happened not only while Chris had the account but also for the past year.
So during the start of this investigation, I quickly realized there was a pattern which was the vehicles being broken into was not in the line of sight of security cameras on the property but also the rooms that was broken into no cameras caught video of anyone entering or leaving so that right there was a tall tell sign this has something to do with a current or former employee.
Because I was not physically there this morning I called and talked with the hotel manager and explained to him that I was helping Chris on this investigation and got some basic information such as exactly when these actions started to occur which was almost a year ago and found out that the hotel had been loosing clients because of this.
So I had them pull every police report they had on every case and low and behold another pattern emerged.
I then asked them to send me a list of the employees who worked for them which is where I started my background investigations at and BAM one of the court records smacked me in the head like a brick and before I even called the hotel back I knew the answer of When, How and Why…. Not only was the 1 employee previously arrested for breaking and entering but also employee theft.
So after about a hour and half I had my first lead and when I called the manager back I asked for only that 1 employees work schedule and every single theft was on her days at work.
So I called the investigator handling the case, he went to the hotel to speak with her and she admitted that her BF came up with the plan of her keeping tabs on when guests was in or out of the room, the cameras was on a timer and switched every 20 seconds so she would let the BF know when the camera was not filming down that breezeway and that he was also breaking into the vehicles. They only picked guests who would have to drive or fly back hours to go to court and felt without someone to testify or push the issue they was in the clear.
This was all something the Police Department could and should have done however they did not but everything I dug up I sent to the investigator and it is all something they will use in court along with her confession all due to evidence I found just buy a couple of hours of looking and it all could have been avoided IF they would have asked who, what, when, where, how and why….
So the point of this is even tho your are not a police officer you are being paid to do a job be it securing a parking lot or a resort area and this includes completing simple straight forward investigations. When I was a cop it was my job to know those questions and it served me well. Not only did observation and knowing solve a lot of crimes no one else caught but it was a game of cat and mouse with me and I enjoyed it.
So when you say “That isn’t my job” it might not be your job but when you loose a account and word gets out you don’t do something so simple you’ll be loosing money and for some loosing 1 account is like loosing 100 accounts