When I was a young police officer, my chief of police, Dick Roe, told his officers that the business community and their owners were our most important responsibility in the city. If we didn’t protect them and make sure they were safe, the community would deteriorate, drastically. I soon learned that this is very true. Businesses are very important. Can a city or town survive without them? Yes, but all you have left is a group of houses and people who probably never interact. As an investigator, I have dealt with several businesses that have experienced thefts, internal thefts, bad checks and basic security problems. As an individual, I have had businesses of my own over the years, and I understand the dynamics of being a business owner. (To learn more about my experience and education, click on the ‘Credentials’ link.) Here is a brief list of the business assistance that I offer. More information on each of these services may be accessed by clicking on the individual items listed. Additionally, the ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)’ link at the top of the page, will also assist you in assessing your situation.
Internal thefts cost businesses more than anything else that occurs for an owner. A drink here, a product there, and it all adds up. Whether it is eaten or pocketed in the store, or taken out in some covert way, theft is theft, and costs you money. It costs us all money, as a matter of fact. I really try to keep up with the different methods that employees use to steal from business owners. These acts can be combated with simple surveillance or cameras. On some extreme cases, actually working undercover in the store as a new employee is the answer. top of page
Thefts such as shoplifting occur while you are open and doing business, and thefts also happen whether you are on duty or not. Thieves sometimes create a diversion, then take what they want. A lot of employees are too weak and choose not to do anything about it. Again, cameras may help, or bringing in an investigator to work undercover might be the answer. top of page
With the price of precious metal skyrocketing over the last few years, there have been a huge number of metal thefts from businesses. Anything from aluminum to copper, and everything in between, is highly sought after. Thieves will pull or walk up, take whatever metal they can remove from the site, and then leave. Replacement can be very expensive. Undercover work and an advocate who will work with law enforcement in an attempt to stop this activity, would be beneficial. top of page
This business assistance comes in two forms. Proactive business owners may seek assistance in shielding themselves from future unscrupulous claims against them for injury that is staged to purposely acquire a monetary settlement from an insurance company. Sometimes simply looking at the floor plan of your business and talking over your situation, can illuminate a potential liability hazard. The second piece of assistance comes in the form of actual undercover work. If you have suffered a loss or if you are an attorney or insurance company that suspects foul play, hiring an investigator would be money well-spent. There are people who try to claim injuries stemming from some types of accident, so they can collect money for a disability, instead of working. I have videotaped people playing softball, fertilizing their lawn, and even washing their wave runner in the front drive, while supposedly having shoulder and back injuries. top of page
Bad checks can be a real problem for retail businesses. Sadly, a lot of businesses write bad checks off as if they believe it is inevitable part of being in business. The fact is that writing bad checks is a crime. The local prosecutor has a program to assist you in collecting money owed you by this crime. There is a procedure that you will have to go through, but you will get most of these checks paid back to you. I work with one business, where I organize their bad checks, help send out the letters of notification to the check writers, and then actually take checks to the prosecutor for the business owner. I then act as a go-between, making sure that the process moves forward. I keep my client posted on the status of the process and any appearance dates that they may need to honor. It is not just the cost of doing business anymore. top of page
There are a lot of businesses, big and small, that have some type of rental property. With rental property comes problems with bad checks (see above), security issues and bad renters. I have made a lot of visits to vacant rental properties to make sure they are secure and that repairs are not required. Sometimes I see a problem and fix it before there is a problem. Sometimes just a security presence helps. Other times, I have visited properties and found illegal activity like the smoking of marijuana. Remember, I work closely with law enforcement in cases like this, and will get this problem taken care of in the form of a criminal action. Also, if former renters have left without fulfilling their obligations, I can locate them so that you can take action against them. (See ‘Process Service’ link.) top of page
Even if you have a lot of experience in the hiring process, you may have made several regrettable choices over the years. When you are talking with someone, do you really know enough about them to trust them with your business? It’s scary when you think about it that way. I have the means and experience to check people out. This can be done over the computer, or by doing a background check in the counties that they have previously worked or lived in. Find out if that person you are interviewing is a potentially productive employee or a former criminal.
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