Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Late Night

I was called out again to help this last Saturday with surveillance on some businesses. Being Saturday, there was a lot more activity in the area. For the first part of the night, until about 2am, I was covert, meaning I parked in some shadows so no one could see in through my tinted windows. I parked in a apartment comlex's parking lot, so no one would be suspicious of a parked car. It gets really stuffy inside a car when it has been as hot as it's been. We had a vehicle driving around, acting suspicious. I noted it passing within 15 minutes of setting up. My partners had the tag, as it had been around driving around for several hours. When they got the info back, the tag didn't match any records, so it was decided I would place myself where I could follow the vehicle and confirm the tag number.

I was really glad for that, because I got to role my windows down and catch the breeze that was blowing. That made it a lot more comfortable. It also allowed me to hear what was going on around me, which is nice because when your sealed up in a car, your primarly visually active, being able to hear expands your awareness. With my windows down, I parked across the street in an empty parking lot and waited for the target vehicle to drive by. Within the first 45 minutes of being overt, I had a skinny black guy try to sell me a eight-ball, and had a hooker ask me for a light. The hooker had a lump or growth on the side of her face. It didn't take long for the locals, a paranoid bunch, to notice me and I could tell I made them nervous. They had me fingered as a cop, so there was a lot of calls placed and people looking around corners and people walking by staring at me and then going back to their place. All the girls on the street disappeared too, lol.

Part of the surveillance craft is becoming accustomed to the environment. It was interesting to see all the activity going on and watching the people. By the end of the night, you could tell where the drugs were being sold and the apartments the streetwalkers were using. During the night we heard several gunshots north east of our position, and there was a stabbing a couple of streets over, but we weren't involved in any of that.

Since I was part of a three man team, and we had radios with ear-pieces, we kept up a steady stream of information.Suspicious cars, pedestrians, bicyclists moving through the area, and, of course, all the illegal stuff we saw going down at night. No, we didn't call the cops, they already know what's going on and we were trying to help our clients and catch the thieves operating in the area that were costing them tons of money.

We never caught anybody, but we did lock the area down and no thefts occurred while we were there. We may be back, or we may not. We spent a lot of time there already, and I wouldn't mind a change of scenery.

Friday, August 26, 2011


When I am not driving my candy apple red ferrari down the road, you can sometimes find me tucked away in a hidey hole in the wee hours of the morning.

Copper thieves are busting into AC units to remove the copper tubing. At $5,000 a pop, they are hurting a lot of businesses. Recently, I was called out to help my friend try and catch some of these felons. It is not very exciting watching AC units for hours at a time, but you do what you gotta do to protect people's property. I will be out again, tonight and probably all weekend trying to bust these guys.

Sometimes the hardest part of the job is staying awake. But, I confess, I enjoy this kind of thing because I feel like a lion watching the waterhole for the gazelles to show up. This job requires a predatory patience as you sit all night waiting for the perps to come so you can take them down.

If you own a small business, I would suggest you put some sort of fence or protective barrier around your AC units. No one can afford to be burned like that in this economy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

An Open Offer For Companies and Businesses

If you use Private Investigators in your profession, then I would like for you to observe the quality of Air Capital Investigations work by offering the first case with your company pro bono. I am so sure that you will happy with our work, and that you will hire ACI on future cases, that I am willing to offer the first case at no cost. If you have a case in which the client is low on funds, but still needs a PI, or you would just like to increase your profit margins and decrease your cost, then this would be an excellent opportunity for both your company and mine. Please feel free to call me at any time at 316-204-5967 or contact me at

Samuel Tyree
Private Investigator
Air Capital Investigations

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hot, Dang Hot

I should have been more concientious about updating this blog, but I've been worn out from the heat.

A friend, another PI, and myself did a "Property Surveillance" gig, which is really just another way of saying we played security guards at and industrial facility for a twelve hour stretch. Unfortunately, we had to operate out of our vehicles, in shadeless parking lots and the temperature was 106F, about 40C (I think). The heat wave we've been baking in has been brutal for the last month or so, and sitting in your car for 12 hours does not a comfortable day make.

We were a little perplexed at why the company wanted Private Detectives instead of contracting with a security company. The only thing I can think of was the amount of initiative we PIs display. Because we are proactive, either in doing investigations or body guard work, and we tend to try and solve problems before they actually occur. Security Guards tend to follow the letter of the contract and want to know what the client wants done specifically, and then does it. We were told to secure the site, so we put our heads together and analyzed the weak points in the facility's security. There were a lot, more than two men could cover without some sort of perimeter camera system, which I do not have, nor did the job pay enough for me to purchase one, although I will buy one in the future.

We ended up compromising, which never makes us happy, and locked the place down with what resources we had available. I'd bought some cheap FRS radios years ago on sale, and they came in very handy during the day.

For the readers of this blog, I will talk about what are the things we look for when we establish perimeter security, and how they may apply to your own homes.

As a rule of thumb, security is best developed in layers, where each layer supports each other. Camera's a great, if you are watching them, but they are better employed if they are coupled with motion alarms and door and window alarms.

First, we prefer to have a 360 Degree line of site and line of sight with each other. If you think of four people, sitting on top of a tall hill with unobstructed views that go for miles, and each one is looking in a different directions so they can see everything that happens below, you will have the idea of perfect security. Most people who put up a security camera cover their doors, and usually just the front door. Much stronger is an arrangement that gives you a view of your entire house. If you have a simple box shaped home, you could put up two cameras, on poles or in trees, that are on opposite corners from each other. Each camera would observe two sides of the house, giving you a complete coverage of the outside of you house. If you have an outbuilding you want to protect, and it is a simple room like a garage, you could put up a camera in the corner of your garage so that it can see most, if not all of the interior. You would especially want any entrances to be visible on camera.

If you have a more complicated set up, then you will need more cameras.

Next, we like to have motion detectors online. Since we have to adapt our security measures on the fly, as it were, we prefer the wireless kind. These operate on batteries which must be monitored and replaced as needed, but they work well for us.

Generally speaking, we don't use physical alarms on doors and windows, we are too mobile and it is too time consuming compared to using motion detectors to monitor entrances. If you own your own home, then such devices might be worth investing in, if they are withing your budget.

Some people ask if they should get an alarm service, and which one. The quick answer is yes and I don't know. I don't recommend or not recommend services by others. Professional alarm systems are nice and very convienent, and are constantly monitored even if you are not hom, but they cost money. With a little research on the net, you could probably create your own alarms system for a smaller, one-time-only cost, that would works almost as well as the professional ones.

Finally, make friends with your neighbors, they are great sources of security for your home. When I have more time, I will develop these ideas further for you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things are picking up now that warm weather is here

I should have been posting all along, but I've been busy. I was called in on a case, and of course the lawyer waited until the last minute, so I spent about 10 days just interviewing witnesses and establishing the timeline on a series of assaults that occurred last year to get the case ready for court. The trial was not completed and was put on continuance, so back to court for me next month.

Honestly, the cop who made the arrest didn't even try. Of course, it was 4am and I'm sure he was tired, so he made only the most superficial investigation before he decided to just bust someone. My job on the stand will be to show where he failed to do his job.

I've also been called in to assist another PI with a child custody case. Let me tell you something, following people isn't as easy as it looks on TV. These days everybody tries to tag the vehicle with a GPS tracker, although the constitutionality of that is being challenged. I suspect they will require a court order before they will be used in the not so distant future.

Following someone takes several vehicles coordinated by radio to effectively follow someone without them becoming suspicious. I followed a car almost 30 miles and I am petty sure they had me tagged by the end of the run. Of course, it was after 2am and there weren't very many vehicles out at that time. The reason I don't like to tail someone is that I expect to be paid whether or not I follow them successfuly. Clients want results and don't want to pay for incomplete work. However, they also don't want to pay for a proper crew to do the job. Following someone is a test of judgment. If you follow to close, you'll get burned and if you follow too far back, you will lose them. Then there is the ever-present road construction in this town and goofy traffic lights that can really interfere with following someone. I won't comment on the quality of local drivers. I am also going to have to charge mileage. Gas prices are going up to high to make a profit if you're doing a lot of driving.

My plate is clear right now, probably won't be for long. I have a business meeting tomorrow and I might be off on another case.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why won't I tell you where they're at?

A friend of mine, and a fellow PI, has run across a client that he harbors some suspicions about. What I mean he isn't sure that the reason the person gave for wanting to find their estranged spouse was valid. He suspected the spouse was hiding from what may have been an abusive relationship.

Actually, we PIs pretty much know that a client will withold information from us if they think it is going to help them. It doesn't really, but people, especially in divorce and child custody cases, want to win at any cost.

If I try to find a person, I will not divulge their location to my client, but will deliver any messages the client wishes, leaving it to the found person to make the decision of initiating contact. TV star Rebecca Schaeffer (My Sister Sam) was killed by a stalker who got her address from a Private Investigator. Of course, if I'm working for an attorney, I will pass the information along.

I also will not tell a person where there significant other is at the moment. If they are at a motel with a lover, the client is likely to show up and start being violent. There was a case several years ago when a PI told a lady where her husband and his mistress was. She showed up and ran him over, then backed up over him again. I would really not want to be that Private Investigator when he tried to explain things, even if he had no control over the actions of his client.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"My First Case" or "How I Met My Wife"

I really shouldn't call it my first case. I wasn't a PI yet, but I had just given up police work in Missouri and moved back to Wichita. I was rooming with my best friend and working odd jobs until something solid came about.

I knew that my friend had been adopted and was wanting to find his birth parents. Fortunately, Kansas is one of only eight states that have full disclosure of adoptions once the the adopted child is of age. My friend sent off for the records of adoption, which is handled by the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment. Once he had the paperwork he found out his birth mother's name.

The next step was to locate her. This is where I joined the search. Following my instructions, he stopped by the main branch of the public library. We looked in an old phone book from the year he was born and compared it to the recent issue of the phone book to locate people who possessed the same last name, and who were still around. The idea was to contact them, even if they weren't the birth mother, because it was reasonable to assume they might be related to her.

We found the name of a married couple that had lived at the same address and with the same phone number for the last three decades.

My friend was too nervous to call and he asked me to do it. I agreed and I contacted the people. I was grilled pretty hard at first, but soon found out that we had found my friend's maternal grandparents. We found out that his mother had been looking for him, and indeed, she had tried to reverse the adoption a few weeks after it was completed, but was unsuccessful. In short order, a very happy and tearful reuninon occurred. My friend found himself a part of large extended family and that he had an older sister and a younger half-sister.

Thus I completed my first "case" at finding someone. It is especially meaningful to me because I married his older sister.