I was recently handling a big worker’s comp case for a company in Queens. They heard that an employee of theirs was milking the system and not only collecting worker’s compensation payments but also working at another job doing exactly what he claimed he could not do after an injury at work. The client came to us because they knew we had the experience and the know-how to get the job done for them. We did our research, got as much information as possible from the client, and started our surveillance plan. Since we knew that the subject was formerly in construction, we knew from experience to wait by his home very early, as construction workers typically work early.
We were eager to start and began by following the subject from his home on a rainy morning at 5 am. This was by choice which I will explain later in this blog. Now if the subject was not working, we would have been sitting there for a very long time. However, our instincts paid off and the subject appeared to leave his home at 5:15 am. He was wearing work clothes and carrying a backpack. He went to his vehicle and drove away. We immediately followed him from East Flushing and eventually to Kew Gardens Hills and watched as he parked his vehicle near the subway station. When first working a case, it is important to be prepared for any scenario, so in this situation, I worked it with another PI, so that when the subject parked and went into the subway entrance, I was able to immediately get out and follow on foot and not risk losing him while searching for a parking spot.
Surveillance in the city is often tricky. There are many different modes of transportation that can be used and quite often you need to be prepared for anything at any given time. So was the situation in this case. It was reported by another employee that the subject was working in Manhattan, so we knew that the chances of him driving to his work location were slim. Therefore we planned ahead for him to take public transit at some point. These are tricks of the trade that I’ve picked up after 30+ years.
Now I’ll be honest, most private investigators tend to shy away from working surveillance in the rain. Aside from the obvious “it’s no fun standing out in the cold rain” issue, it can also be a hazard. I have some very expensive equipment that I would rather not have ruined by getting wet. Plus when in a vehicle, it can become tricky to keep your windshield free of water when attempting to go in for the “money shot”. But in spite of these circumstances, I find that working a case, especially one on foot, is easier to work in the rain.
You see, when following someone in the rain, most often their attention is drawn to the rain and trying to get to where they are going with minimal amounts of water hitting them. So they are not nearly as aware of their surroundings as usual. Then I follow along, with an umbrella of course, and do what I need to do. I can use the umbrella almost as a moving shield to hide behind whenever the subject looks around. This is what I did in this particular case. I moved along behind the subject without issue. He made his way onto the platform and got onto the train without looking back while I was following him the entire way.
I followed him to Battery Park where he exited the subway, then continued on foot to a construction site. I tipped my umbrella just enough to hide my face and still have clear footage of him walking up to the entrance, showing his badge, putting on his construction vest, and going in. Touchdown! I continued to do this several times after that to prove that he was in fact working there. Once I had the location and time of arrival down, it was simply a matter of waiting for him to arrive each day. I swapped out with a couple of my other PI’s occasionally so that the person at the entrance did not get suspicious and it became a home run for the client.
Every surveillance is different. You need to adapt to each situation and make it work to your advantage instead of being discouraged. Surveillance in the rain is like that. You can use that to beat out the competition by knowing how to acclimate to it. It was the same thing in the movie “The Art Of Racing In The Rain.” The race car driver in the movie (Denny Swift) loved it when it rained during a race because all the other drivers would slow down. Instead, he used it to his advantage and through his extensive experience he would speed up at a certain point in the turns. This gave him the advantage and in so doing would put him ahead of the pack. If you are experienced enough to go when others stop, you will in most cases win. It was the same for me in this surveillance. I knew that it was the best time to follow this person. I was told upfront that two other investigators had failed to catch him. That tells me that he was very “hinky” (aware of his surroundings and always watching to make sure he was not being followed). So I knew to follow him when he would be the most distracted in order to succeed with this case. From past successful cases, I knew that time was in the rain.
This is one of the many reasons that I love doing what I do. Every case, though the basic situation may be similar, are all different. Different reasons, different people, and different events happen during the course of the surveillance. But in the end, it all comes down to knowing what to do in order to get the best results for you, the client. Gone are the days of “hiding behind a newspaper” like in the movies. No one reads a paper newspaper anymore. Good news for trees, but not for keeping the “private” in Private Investigator. Now we have to be more creative when hiding in plain sight. So an umbrella works beautifully in the right situation, along with some other trade secrets that I will keep to myself. Sorry, but if you want to know them you’ll have to hire me. I may still not tell you though. But what I can tell you is that I am very good at worker’s comp cases. So if you want the best in the business, give me a call or shoot me a text. I’ll help you get the proof you need to be freed from paying your hard-earned profits to someone that does not deserve them.
Investigreat, LLC is a recognized full service Private Investigation Agency that is fully licensed, insured and bonded, handling cases all over Connecticut as well as Queens NY, Brooklyn NY, Bronx NY, New York City, Staten Island and Long Island NY. Adam, along with his wife Terri have been working cases for Legal Teams, Insurance Companies, Private Businesses, Municipalities, School Systems and general investigation services for the public since 1992.
Investigreat, LLC | Private Investigators serving Connecticut, Long Island City, Jamaica NY, Brooklyn NY and Queens NY | Office Numbers: 860-899-1710 or 718-412-1845 | Text: 718-309-1269