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27Nov
House Security Tips
Security TipsLeave a comment

So you think your house is a fortress and that nobody in their right mind would break in?  Wrong, think again. According to a one-time member of the Dinner Set Gang, A retired professional thief who served 11 years in prison because one of their own members turned him in.  Walter T.  Shaw says, “a few tweaks here and changes there will fortify your house

If you’re going to go on vacation don’t tell everyone in the world you’re going.   People don’t often think about it but telling complete strangers you’re heading out of town through casual conversation happens all the time.  Most people when they are going on vacation might mention it to people they have never met before, for instance, telling the cashier when she asked you ” Have any big plans?” “Yep we are going on vacation, and you don’t know them from Adam.    Shaw says, “thieves  deploy informants everywhere.” In fact, some of Shaw’s best tipsters were carpet installers, hairstylists and bank workers. “These folks were often told about a customer’s upcoming trip and gave us the details, making it very easy to plan our ‘visit’ to the house,” he says.
Ever drive by a house and see the famous security sign sticking out in the flowerbed, of course you have.    People don’t think about sticking that sign in the backyard.    Where do you think most thieves enter from? They don’t enter through the front door; that’s too obvious.    Post some other signs saying this house is protected by video surveillance, or sensors.  This is a thief’s worst nightmare, the last thing they want is to be caught on camera.   A Thief will think twice about entering your house if he/she sees this.    If you at home activate your alarm, especially when you retire during the night.   To Shaw, 90 percent of the homes he robbed between 1969 and 1980 had alarms that were not on with people inside the house.

House Isn’t Secure During the Day

Don’t ever under estimate a thief’s timing, just because it’s daylight out doesn’t mean they won’t burglarize your home.  Think about it for a second; husband is at work; the kids are at school or the wife is holding a second job or running kids around or at the supermarket.    A True fact more and more thieves are pulling off daytime jobs than ever before Residential Crime Statistics.

House Doorbell

Fix your doorbell, most experienced thieves will ring the doorbell to see if anyone is home.    If it’s broken you can’t hear or tell if there is thief posing as a solicitor at your door.  Junkies looking for a quick fix will often apply for a solicitor’s license just to case a neighborhood to see who’s home and who isn’t.    An empty house is an inviting one to a burglar.   As a dog owner, I do not discourage barking, because my small 15-pound dog tells me when there is someone around that shouldn’t be.  I don’t care if it’s the local bug’s bunny looking for a carrot, I want to know when something or someone is around my house.   People that have guests to the door are definitely greeted by an annoying high pitch bark and even when I feel it’s safe to let them in the dog continues to bark until she feels that person isn’t a threat.

So guess what room a thief hits first?   The master bedroom, if you’re going to keep things safe, it’s best to keep them in the kitchen.  It’s the last place a thief will look because it’s usually at the back of the house or middle of the house.   The number-one concern; besides being caught?  Is the time it takes him to get in and out!  When you throw the trash away be careful what you reveal in the middle of the Alley, things like flat screen boxes, computer boxes, etc….. are things that let a thief know what you have in your house.  Just as an Identity thief would go through your trash to get relevant information, a house burglar will go through your trash to see what you have in your house.  Take a box cutter and slice those boxes into tiny pieces and put them in a trash bag and make sure you shred junk mail .. it’s an Identity thief’s gold mind.

So, think your house is a fortress and a burglar would have to be out of his/her mind to try to enter your home uninvited?  Wrong, and think again.  According to a one-time member of the Dinner Set Gang, A retired professional thief who served 11 years in prison because one of their members turned him in.  Walter T.  Shaw says, “a few tweaks here and changes there will fortify your house

If you are going to go on vacation, don’t tell everyone in the world you are going.   People do not often think about it but telling complete strangers you are heading out of town through casual conversation happens all the time.  Most people when they are going on vacation might mention it to people they had never met before, for instance, telling the cashier when she asked you ” Have any big plans?” “Yep we are going on vacation, and you do not know them from Adam.    Shaw says, “thieves  deploy informants everywhere.” In fact, some of Shaw’s best tipsters were carpet installers, hairstylists, and bank workers. “These folks for a sum of money told us about the upcoming trip and gave us the details, making it very easy to plan our ‘visit’ to the house,” he says.

Ever drive by a house and see the famous security sign sticking out in the flowerbed, of course, you have.    People do not think about holding that sign in the backyard.    Most thieves enter a residence from the back door.  They do not come through the front door; that is too obvious.    Posting signs that display “Protection by video surveillance or sensors”.  This is a thief’s worst nightmare, the last thing they want is to do is end up on the six o’clock news on camera.   A Thief will think twice about entering your house if he/she sees this.    If you are home, activate your alarm, especially when you retire for the night.   To Shaw, 90 percent of the homes he robbed between 1969 and 1980 had alarms that were not on with people inside the house.

House is not Secure During the Day

Don’t ever underestimate a thief’s timing, daylight does not stop a fox from entering a hen house. Think about it for a second; husband is at work; the kids are at school, or the wife is holding a second job or running kids around or at the supermarket.    A fact more and more thieves are pulling off daytime jobs than ever before Residential Crime Statistics.

House Doorbell

Fix your doorbell, most experienced thieves will ring the doorbell to see if anyone is home.    A broken doorbell, you have no warning whatsoever, unless you have a small dog who barks at the drop of a hat.  Junkies looking for a quick fix will often apply for a solicitor’s license just to scope out the neighborhood; to see who’s home and who isn’t.    Watch for people distributing flyers, I had one walk in the front door, now luckily, I had a female dog meaner than snake standing there just growling, it caught my attention.  An empty house is an intriguing offer to a burglar.   As a dog owner, I do not discourage barking, because my small 15-pound dog tells me when there is someone around that should not be.  I do not care if it is the resident rabbit hopping through the yard; I want to know when something or someone is around my house.   Even people or guests you know will look forward to that annoying high pitch bark and even when I feel it is safe to let them in, the dog continues to bark until she feels that person is not a threat.  Dogs are a good judge of character.

So guess what room a thief hits first?   The master bedroom, if you are going to keep things safe,  it is best to keep them in the kitchen.  It is the last place a thief will look because it is usually in the middle or back of the house.   The number-one concern; besides being caught?  Is the time it takes him to get in and out!  When you throw the trash away be careful what you reveal in the middle of the Alley.  Break down your boxes,  use a box cutter and slice those boxes into tiny pieces and put them in a trash bag and make sure you shred junk mail. It is an Identity thief’s gold mind. Things like flat screen boxes, computer boxes, are things that let a thief know what you have in your house.  A house burglar will take the time to see what you have in your house.  While on the subject, pay attention to your surroundings such as;

  • Different cars, vans
  • Contract workers in the neighborhood.

Don’t be afraid to approach an unknown visitor and ask them what they are doing in the area.

House Security and Common Sense

Collect those piled up newspapers and catalogs off the front porch, don’t leave them out on the front step; that is a beacon to let a thief know you are not at home. Beforehand, make arrangements with a neighbor to collect them and buy yourself timers for your interior/exterior lights, and TV.  Come to think of it, purchase a timer for your master bedroom lights and TV as well.

If a fox has the chance your chickens will come up missing.  Mitigate risk and  .. remember these valuable tips and your house will be less of a target to a thief.  If you would like helpful tips on the matter contact this group.  I have worked with them in the past they are very professional.   Having issues and need help contact us.

 

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23Nov
Surveillance Shadowing
SurveillanceLeave a comment

Surveillance Shadowing,Private Investigator,Cheating Spouse, Cheaters Spy Shop,Medical malpractice,In my last post, I talked about Surveillance, the Art and outlined the number of subjects under the term surveillance.  I want to take a moment and talk about a “Warm” Mark.  If you recall I talked about a Warm status and Burned Status.  Warm status meaning the Mark (subject under surveillance)  suspects that you are tailing them.  Burned means the Mark knows you are hot on their trail.   Losing a mark in surveillance shadowing is better than being burned.  So the question is. How do you know if a Mark suspects you are on their trail?  Well, there are a number of ways you can tell, but paying particular attention to their movements is key.

Surveillance Shadowing Counter Tactics

Lets define Counter Surveillance first;  It’s described as the act of detecting and then countering or preventing surveillance from continuing.

Surveillance shadowing or foot surveillance counter tactics may be used by a Mark to catch whom ever is following them.  They may reverse their direction but following on the opposite side of the street can help avoid being spotted.  Furthermore, be careful a Mark may suddenly turn a corner and stop, if this happens, you need to keep walking around the corner and when it’s safe, you can turn back. Another tactic used by a Mark to identify being followed is purposely dropping a piece of paper to see if someone stops to pick it up.  There are other ways a Mark will try to verify someone is following them on foot is moving into a public place like restaurants, theaters or even hotels, and exiting through another door.  Jumping on a Subway or public transit system and then jumping off just before the door closes.  If this happens just stay on until the next stop, remember being Burned is not what you want.  You can always pick the trail up again later.  Attempting to jump off  with the Mark will surely get you Burned.   Lastly if the Mark moves into a deserted area then that Mark is warm.  He/she definitely knows someone is on their tail.

To avoid these common mistakes in surveillance shadowing, it’s a good idea to do the following before you start your surveillance:

Learn as much about your Mark as Possible including knowing their address

  • Know the area where the surveillance shadowing will happen
  • Be properly equipped.
  • Arrive Early.

 In my next post, I will talk about Vehicle Surveillance and mobile surveillance.

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21Nov
Surveillance – The Art
SurveillanceLeave a comment

Pipaulalogolightwp

As a private investigator, I find myself having to use some techniques to gather the right information about a Mark.  For those of you that don’t know what the word “Mark” means.  It refers to the person you are tracking and gathering information.  In general, a good definition of surveillance is openly determining the activities of your mark.  In many cases it’s hiding in plain sight to sitting in a vehicle for hours at a time.  Either way the Art of Surveillance tests your creative thought and investigative skill at their highest levels.  I often find myself working alone and in remote field locations, having to make immediate decisions based on subject activity and field conditions. Getting surveillance results requires patience, and the ability to stay focused on the task.

The Art of Surveillance

  • The Type of Equipment Used
  • Foot Surveillance
  • Vehicle, Mobile Surveillance
  • Stationary Surveillance
  • Face To Face Contact

Equipment Used

Still camera, video camera, file, map, flashlight, Pad and pencil, window covers, binoculars and two way radios, at least one should be portable.  Hats, sunglasses and a change of clothes are also recommended.

Foot Surveillance

One of the most commonly used techniques by investigators is physical surveillance.   Shadowing involves following a person both tightly enough not to lose them ( the common term “Close Tail”), and a far enough distance to avoid detection (Common name “Loose Tail”).  Practice and a good measure of patience are required; I often find myself tailing a mark for hours and even waiting for them to appear.   “Getting Warm” and Being Burned is two terms you should know.  Getting Warm means the Mark suspects that you are following them while Being Burned means the mark knows you are following them.  It is better to lose the “mark” then get burned because it is always possible to pick the trail back up.

One thing I try to remember when conducting my craft is to blend in with the surroundings, which means not carrying things that do no matter.  For example, if you are tailing a Mark in a mall you want to have shopping bags with you.  If you do not blend, you could be “burned”.  If I change your appearance, I do so by putting on or taking off a coat or hat.  This is usually effective, but you also might want to carry a change of clothes in your car just in case. Having one or two pairs of glasses can also help.

I often follow my Marks on foot, and this requires practice.  The rule of thumb is I never lose sight of the Mark.  When areas get congested with people this is easier said than done, but when I hit heavy traffic, I usually follow eight to nine feet back, much further if there is little or no foot traffic.   If I am in a small congested traffic, I will walk on the other side of the street to maintain distance without being “Burned.”  Lastly, if you are ever in a situation where your Mark turns quickly and your face to face, the best thing you can do is continue your walk and don’t act startled.  If there is a shop nearby looking into the window or stopping and checking your watch but do not lose your bearing.  Whatever you do not lock eyes, because the mark will have a better chance of knowing whom you are if they see you again.

Join me again as I go deeper into the Art of Surveillance next post will be about Vehicle and Mobile Surveillance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19Nov
Apogean Group LLC – Uses Angies List
Pi Paula BlogLeave a comment

Apogean Group LLC,Private Investigator,Cheating Spouse, Cheaters Spy Shop,Medical malpractice,More than 2 million households nationwide check Angie’s List reviews to find the best local service providers, like roofers, plumbers, handymen, mechanics, doctors and dentists and private Investigators.  In asking Paula Broudeaux President and Founder of  The Apogean Group, why joining Angies List was so important to her as a business owner, she responded with “As a business owner I want to know exactly what customers are thinking and feeling.  It’s important to know about issues but also to know when things are done right.  It helps me grow my business in a productive and holistic manner.Angieslist

The Apogean Group Services

The Apogean Group LLC, Inc. is an investigative services agency is exclusively dedicated and located in North Texas, Collin County  serving Texas,and affiliated with Florida  and California. It was decided in 2008, by a female private investigator in Collin County, North Texas.  Our competent private investigative services personnel, are experts at covert and clandestine observation techniques and the use of the latest high-technology equipment, including: High Definition (HD) video cameras, hidden video cameras, GPS tracking devices and other surveillance equipment. We are adept at locating even the hardest to find individuals (skip tracing, background searches), either through good old-fashioned detective work or by searching multiple online resources.  We learn all we can about a subject through a combination of background checks and surveillance. The result is a high-quality video documentary that accurately depicts the subject’s steps and undertakings. A typical investigation concludes with our private investigators in the courtroom as expert witnesses providing testimony that is professional and detrimental to the other side.

If you wish to contact us please do, we provide free consultations or you can contact us directly at 214.926.0048  a form is provided below:

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11Nov
Background Check Investigation
Background Check InvesitgationLeave a comment

Background Check is really that simple?

If you want to find information about criminal activity, track record, education, credit reports and employment history you can turn to many of the services available to the ordinary public;

  • Instant Checkmate
  • Intellius
  • US Search
  • Been Verified
  • PeopleWise
  • People Smart
  • People Finders
  • Versipy
  • Intelligator
  • eVerify

Have you ever heard the saying “You get what you pay for”?  The average cost of the above services is about 25.00.  I have tried each one of these services and what I have encountered in my due diligence is an inaccurate account, old information and lack of information.  A private investigator has access to information and databases that are not accessible to the general public.   Each private investigating agency is different in their approach.  Take a minute, and ask yourself is the safety of your children, hiring the right person or making sure a person is who they say they are is worth the extra step.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will lay out what types of backgrounds can be conducted and explain the reasons for using a service like The Apogean Group.

  • TAG will be posting some background investigations on the following areas;
  • What Is a Background check Investigation?
  • Background Check vs. Background Investigation
  • Types of Background Checks
  • What are the processes in a Background Investigation?
  • Red Flags in a Background Investigation
  • How Much Does a Background Investigation Cost?

Is your children’s safety worth it?  Would you rely on false or outdated information and make the wrong choice of hire for your business?  Think about it is 25.00 worth the risk?

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