On Friday, a client of Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. arrived at a local health club to work out. While working out the client received a telephone call from their financial institution inquiring if they had made several recent purchases, within a very short period of time. Upon receiving this call the client immediately checked their locker and found that unknown person(s) broke the padlock off a locker taking the gym bag that was inside the locker. This unknown person(s) then used the vehicle keys that were in the gym bag to steal the client’s SUV from the facility parking lot. Contained in the vehicle were the client’s wallet containing credit cards, personal financial documents for the client and related businesses as well as the client’s concealable firearm.
Local law enforcement was immediately contacted and a report made of the theft. As well, the vehicle in question was equipped with OnStar therefore law enforcement contacted OnStar to ascertain the vehicles whereabouts. Inquiries were also made of the health club regarding any video surveillance that they might have. It was learned that the surveillance system was not functioning as it had been damaged during a recent electrical storm two days previous. Further, it took approximately three hours for OnStar to access the vehicles last known location. Law enforcement officers went to the industrial area where the vehicle was last reported to be but were unable to locate the vehicle as the businesses in the area were closed.
That Saturday the client called the investigative unit assigned to this offense. Upon learning that no one would be available to investigate this matter unitl the following Monday Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. was contacted at approximately 5:30 PM. Taking the information available; last known location for the stolen vehicle and information where the credit card had been used investigators with Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. initiated and investigation into this offense. Immediately, Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. requested that the client contact OnStar and have the vehicles ignition system disabled.
Upon locating the possible building where the stolen vehicle might be concealed investigators installed covert video surveillance cameras to monitor activity at this and surrounding businesses. Following up on the credit card usage investigators were able to obtain information relative to purchases made by the party(ies) along with physical descriptions of possible suspects. Investigators also insured that the various businesses were aware that the video obtained should be forensically preserved so as to be turned over to law enforcement. It was during this process of contacting the numerous businesses that investigators with Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. were able to locate the victim’s vehicle in the parking lot of one of the retailers visited by the suspect.
Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. investigators immediately contacted law enforcement to recover and forensically process the vehicle for any latent evidence that may have been left by the suspects. The victim was also contacted to meet law enforcement and investigators to recover their vehicle as well to identify any items that might be found in the vehicle as being left behind by the suspects. It was also determined at the location that the suspect(s) had disabled the OnStar device by removing the antenna from the top of the vehicle and disconnecting it from the rear view mirror as well.
The crime scene investigations unit thoroughly processed the vehicle for latent prints and recovered packaging materials, and soft drink containers, inside the vehicle that were known to have been purchased by the suspects while using the clients credit card. All of the clients personal and business information had been removed from the vehicle along with their concealable firearm and garage door opener for their personal residence.
Investigators with Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. contacted the law enforcement agency, and investigative unit, responsible for this offense so as to convey to them all of the information that Palladin Consulting Group, Inc. investigators had obtained and had preserved for them so they might immediately retrieve the video/photographs of the suspect(s), obtain identifications of them and seek the immediate arrest of the individual(s) responsible. Of significant importance was the need to recover the firearm that was stolen so as to insure the safety of the public at large. Palladin Consulting Group investigators made contact with the law enforcement agency, during their normal business hours providing them with the information obtained over the past 36 hours. At this time the investigative unit was not aware that the vehicle had been recovered and forensically processed. They were also unaware of the information, and location, where the credit cards were used.
As the client/victim of this offense lives outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating these offense investigators made contact with law enforcement agency where the client resides. Palladin Consulting Group investigators briefed this agency as to what had occurred and requested that the local law enforcement agency give “special attention” to the client/victims residence for a period of 30 days. The client was also instructed to have their garage door openers reprogrammed and the locks to their residence rekeyed.
While the officers assigned to patrol duties responded to this event, and attempted to follow the information available, to recover the vehicle and items taken from it once they exhaust those leads it becomes the responsibility of a specialized unit.
- Without the assistance of Palladin Consulting Group, Inc., whose investigators are all former law enforcement officers, nothing would have been accomplished relating to this investigation for the past four days.
When an incident of this nature occurs you need to immediately cancel your credit cards, change the locks on your residence/business. Often times individuals are traumatized by these occurrences and do not think to immediately address these matters.
- Because of Palladin Consulting Group, Inc.’s collective years of law enforcement experience when assisting clients in these matters the investigators know the methodology of the criminal and what their next acts will be. Knowing and anticipating this prevents the client from being victimized even further.
Specific types of information and evidence need to be properly preserved so that law enforcement can build a prosecutable case against the offenders.
- Surveillance video and photographs
- Witness information
- Forensic evidence
- Implements of the offense
- In this specific instance what other persons were known to have been in the health club at the time the offense occurred through the check in process