Private Investigators In Virginia

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LAPD Fingerprint Mistakes–Review 1000 Cases

Posted by Bill on January 16, 2009

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Last year the LA Times reported, after an investigation, that six print analysts with the LAPD latent print section had made critical errors in their work.  The critical errors were caused by the unit’s being marred by inadequate training, antiquated facilities, poor supervision, careless handling of evidence and other shortfalls.

Unfortunately, LAPD does not have adequate funding to upgrade and modernize the fingerprint section.  A task force of prosecutors and LAPD personnel are reviewing cases to determine if the errors caused a wrongful conviction.

Read the whole story: Click Here

Bill Lowrance

www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigator | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Unpaid Parking Tickets = The Boot

Posted by Bill on October 29, 2008

  A lot of jurisdictions are using new recognition hardware and software to read license plates and compare to license plates for unpaid parking tickets or unpaid taxes.  If your license plate shows up/matches, your car gets the boot.  Read this Article

Certainly, facial recognition hardware/software from a handheld device cannot be far away.

Bill Lowrance
Attorney and Private Investigator
www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

GPS–New Surveillance Technique For Police

Posted by Bill on August 13, 2008

In a recent post we pointed out the Arlington County, VA, judge who ruled that the police using a GPS unit to track a person did not need to apply for a search warrant.  The police can just attach a GPS unit on a car and sit back to track a person’s movements in the automobile.

Today’s Washington Post has an excellent article on law enforcement’s use of GPS to track suspects.  Interestingly, the jurisdictions in the DC metro area use GPS units often.  Hey, it beats having to plan and carry out a physical, moving surveillance.  Think about it, though, do we want law enforcement to put a GPS unit on our automobile and track our movements?  Is there any protocol for police to follow before using the GPS?  Will the use of GPS devices be abused by law enforcement? 

Read this Post article: Click Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

www.piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, surveillance | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

US Supreme Court Rules In VA Case–Search & Seizure

Posted by Bill on April 23, 2008

From VA Lawyers Weekly

The Issue: “Whether VA police officer violates the Fourth Amendment by making an arrest based on probable cause but prohibited by state law.”

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the illegality of a search under Virginia law does not require the suppression of evidence seized during the search.

Writing for the court in Virginia v. Moore, Justice Antonin Scalia said in that the high court long has held that probable cause to arrest justifies a search. Virginia is free to make exclusion of evidence seized in violation of Virginia Code Sect. 19.2-74(A)(1) a remedy for an arrest that is illegal under state law but allowed by the Fourth Amendment, Scalia said. The state has not done so, however, and the Fourth Amendment cannot be used as a remedy for an act that does not violate the constitution, he wrote.

The case from Portsmouth involved the arrest of David Lee Moore on a charge of driving without an operator’s license, a misdemeanor for which state law required his release on a summons. Although the attorney general’s office conceded that he was arrested in violation of state law, it contended that the search did not violate the Fourth Amendment because police had probable cause to search Moore. The search produced 16 grams of crack cocaine and $516 in cash. Moore was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc., McLean, VA

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Surreptitious Sampling–Your DNA

Posted by Bill on April 4, 2008

dna.jpg  Ever had the feeling someone is following you?  It could be law enforcement agents or private investigators wanting to collect your DNA.  The police are “surreptitiously sampling” DNA from targeted suspects.  They will place the individual under surveillance waiting until the person throws away a DNA sample.  The sample could come from a discarded coffee cup, soda can, cigarette or Kleenex.  The police will collect the sample and extract the DNA comparing it to an unsolved case in which the individual may be a suspect.

“Police can take a DNA sample from anyone, anytime, for any reason without raising oversight by any court,” said Elizabeth E. Joh, a law professor at University of California, Davis, who studies the intersection of genetics and privacy law. “I don’t think a lot of people understand that.”

Read the entire NY Times Story here.

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, surveillance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Colorado Private Investigator Arrested Using Tracking Device

Posted by Bill on March 7, 2008

gps_tracking_diagram.jpg  According to a news article in the Summit Daily News, a private investigator from Glenwood Springs, CO, was arrested Thursday after placing a tracking device on a car.  The tracking device was for a divorce case the investigator was working.  A witness saw the investigator crawl under an SUV and then drive away.  The witness called the police who found the device attached under the SUV. The police treated the unknown device as a bomb, evacuating the area and calling in the bomb squad.   Read the whole story Click Here See also Denver TV News

Some people use GPS tracking devices.  The devices are place in a concealed area of a vehicle.  The location of the vehicle is available via computer from a remote location–say in your office.  The use of these GPS tracking devices is questionable from a legal point of view.  PIAVA does not recommend using such devices; nor authorizes such use.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc. McLean, VA

Posted in crime, Investigations, law enforcement, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, surveillance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

False Confessions

Posted by Bill on January 19, 2008

 interrogation.jpg Have you ever been interrogated?  Ever told the police what you think they want to hear?  Did you get convicted based on the confession?  Oh, you say, never happened to me.  It can happen.  Criminal defense investigators should be vigilant about the “false confession.”  Learn more Click Here and Here

These articles survey selected web-based resources and publications that shed light on the psychology and interrogation practices behind false confessions, as well as highlighting notable educational and bibliographic materials.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president at piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NYPD Operation Lucky Bag–Doh! Doh! Doh!

Posted by Bill on December 29, 2007

nypd.jpg  I am “shocked,” “shocked”, I tell you that this is a true story of NYPD gone wild!

It seems that NYPD has been running a police decoy program in NYC lately–“Operation Lucky Bag.”  Here is the con.  NYPD leaves shopping bags, backpacks, purses, wallets etc. in and around subway stations or stores.  Anyone who finds the item, picks it up and does not turn in to a uniformed police officer in the vicinity is arrested and charged with, let’s see, grand larceny!  Lucky Bag started in 2006 and among the first 220 arrests about 100 were people with prior charges and convictions.  The rest were “clean.”  In dismissing one case, a Brooklyn judge noted that the law gives people 10 days to turn in property they find.  The judge suggested that NYC had enough real crime for the police to fight without the need to provide fresh temptations.  Oh, and the law does not provide that found items be turned over to a police officer.  Fortunately, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office began to dismiss Lucky Bag charges.  See NY Times Story Here.

I know some readers may not understand the significance of the use of the term “Doh” in the title.  My next post will explain all.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wisconsin Police Fingerprint Traffic Stops

Posted by Bill on December 24, 2007

trafficticket.jpg     If you’re ticketed by Green Bay police, you’ll get more than a fine. You’ll get fingerprinted, too. It’s a new way police are cracking down on crime.

If you’re caught speeding or playing your music too loud, or other crimes for which you might receive a citation, Green Bay police officers will ask for your drivers license and your finger. You’ll be fingerprinted right there on the spot. The fingerprint appears right next to the amount of the fine.

Police say it’s meant to protect you — in case the person they’re citing isn’t who they claim to be. But not everyone is sold on that explanation.  See WBAY TV Story

Bill Lowrance
President PIAVA
president@piava.org

Posted in crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Digital Crime Fighting

Posted by Bill on December 17, 2007

Wanted Poster     In the old days, wanted posters dotted the police and Post Office bulletin boards.  Recently, I went through old papers and found this really old FBI wanted poster (yeah, I was a Special Agent with the FBI in the past)–Compare the wanted poster with the below digital wanted billboards.

Thanks to J. Craig Williams, Orange County, CA, attorney, MIPTC, for this note about new “wanted posters.”  Police in Mobile, AL, put a bank robbery surveillance photo on digital billboards around the city.  They caught the guy.  CNN Digital Billboards.

Also, for digi edge investigators check out CNN’s CNN Digital World.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, FBI, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PI Chatter, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Real ID Act — Your Papers, Please

Posted by Bill on December 13, 2007

papers.jpg  You’ve seen it in the movies–a country ruled by a cruel dictator where everyone has to carry their identity papers with them and produce when the tough police demand them.

Well, Nicole Black of Sui Genris, a NY law Blog, wrote an interesting piece about the Real ID Act which I covered in a prior post.  The Act will require anyone living or working in the U.S. to have a federally approved ID card to open a bank account, travel on an airplane, collect social security benefits or any other government benefits. 

The real problem with the Real ID Act is that the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, requires minimal cyber security for the vast collection of almost all of a person’s private and personal information.  What a boon for ID thieves to have all the personal information in one place where it can harvested with a smile!

Read Niclole’s article on this.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, fraud, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Police Privacy–People Convicted

Posted by Bill on December 12, 2007

Have you ever been pulled over by the police?  Did the situation not go so well?  Do you wish you had recorded the conversation of the incident?  If you did, should you be prosecuted for “secret” electronic surveillance?

In Massachusetts if you record the police conversation with you when pulled over for a traffic violation, you will be prosecuted for violating the Massachusetts Electronic Surveillance Statute.  Professor Solove, associate professor at George Washington Law School (George Washington University Law School) tells the story at the Concurring Opinions Blog.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, surveillance, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Grifters? Bonnie/Clyde ID Thieves, ID Theft w/o Pretexting PI?

Posted by Bill on December 11, 2007

 Philadelphia college students, Jocelyn Kirsch and Edward Anderton, steal ID of neighbors.  State prosecuting for ID theft, burglary etc.   Ummmm, all this ID theft done without one pretext call by a Pretexting PI. 

I heard the federal government is thinking about investigation. 

See

You Tube

See also, Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog/

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, crime, FBI, fraud, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

O.K.–Google This! Solve crime

Posted by Bill on December 7, 2007

Okay.  You gotta love this one.

You know the story: John and Anne married for many years.  John goes canoeing–doesn’t return. Police find canoe overturned in river/ocean, but never find John.  Anne gets John declared dead–collects insurance.  Makes new home in Panama to grieve.  We are professional investigators.  We have heard all this before.  It is the same old story.

But how do you solve the mystery?  Well, you google “John, Anne, Panama” and you get a picutre of dead John and his wife Anne in Panama–whoa, John is alive, the police say? 

Yeah, read about it Telegraph UK

Posted in attorneys, fraud, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Private Investigator? Doh!—Great Musicians

Posted by Bill on December 4, 2007

Okay.  I’ve got to let you know about this one!  A Los Angeles private investigator, not a member of PIAVA, was arrested yesterday or so and charged with breaking into musician Chris Cornell’s Beverly Hills mansion.  To digress,  Chris Cornell was the sound behind Soundgarden, Seattle grunge rock, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, read about at Wikipedia.  Well, Chris, it is reported, is involved in a divorce proceeding.

Private investigator, Matthew Turner, went to Cornell’s home in Beverly Hills, CA, to serve Cornell legal papers–a simple enough job for most people.  Turner, the PI, discovered that no one was at home, doh!  He let himself into the house and went to use the bathroom–“but was caught with his pants down after the whole incident was caught on security cameras.”  Story Here

 Folks, I do not make these things up.  I hope I can depend on some of our devoted attorney readers to help me out if worst comes to worst. Now, contactmusic.com reports that Turner Turner, an employee at California investigative firm Thomas Dale and Associates, is now facing one charge of aggravated trespassing and is due to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on 12 December (07).  See Here.  Chris Cornell, by the way, was 12th in MTV’s “22 Greatest Voices in Music” survey–believe it or not ahead of David Bowie, ahead of David Bowie????  No way!  See his bio Chris Bio.

Better stuff is yet to come!

I apologize.

Bill Lowrance
President PIAVA

president@piava.org

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Posted in attorneys, FBI, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PI Chatter, PIAVA, police, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »