Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Where There's Smoke

I am developing an interest in learning more about the basics of fire investigations.

Normally, my role in an insurance investigation into a claim arising from a fire is merely that of liaising with the Fire Service and Police (where necessary) and a Cause and Origin expert if one is called in.

I do not investigate the actual fire, per se, rather the factors that have contributed towards the event and whether there is any liability resting on the insured, or the occupant. 

However, I've picked up a few tips from Pedro and others over time so am not completely clueless when looking at the burnt-out remains of a house or vehicle.

I just would like to know more.

Every Day Carry

You might recall a couple of posts some time ago, Dear Reader, where I detailed the contents of my pockets, and then later also my bag.

This was partly inspired by, and in response to, a series of posts at Pursuit Magazine, and also a series of similar articles in Foreign Policy magazine.

Little did I know at the time, that there is a whole movement out there devoted to documenting the contents of pockets, worldwide. And, naturally, this phenomenon even is deserving of its own three-letter acronym: EDC.

Every Day Carry.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

PIs in Fiction: Charlie 'Bird' Parker

Charlie Parker is a fairly troubled character in the set of novels written by Irish author John Connolly, set mostly around New England and Maine in particular.

We meet Parker, an ex-cop, shortly after his wife and young daughter are brutally murdered. He suffers from 'survivor guilt' having been absent from home at the time of the murders, guilt for carrying on an affair while he should have been the attentive family man - although this was an affair with the bottle rather than with another woman.

While the murders forms the backdrop of the first novel, Every Dead Thing, several months have passed and Parker has managed to clean up his act to some degree. 

And things generally go downhill from there.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Product Review: Cheap and Cheerful Covert Wearable Cam

So there I was, doing a foot surveillance job at the airport (again!) wishing I had some kind of covert, body-worn, video camera that could record an hour or so of footage. And, most importantly, date- and time-stamp the video. 

All at a reasonable cost, of course.

Well, I think the lesson to be learned here is you really get what you pay for.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monday Mailbag Madness

Pardon the alliteration, and the fact that it is not Monday. Exigent circumstances and all that.

Today's post differs from others in that I have a request to make.

Of you, Dear Reader.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Criminal Intelligence

Sometimes, Dear Reader, it really is a challenging task to remain of professional demeanour and straight faced when being told a litany of implausible tales.

Just the other day I was undertaking an investigation of a claim arising from three supposedly unrelated events on the same day where some chattels were damaged.

The claim was flagged for investigation because the claimant had called the insurer several times a few days previously, repeatedly enquiring as to whether his goods were covered while shifting house (they weren't). Then a day after moving he calls in to make a claim, well three actually.

I'm not going to go into detail on what the claim was concerning as it isn't particularly interesting or relevant - apart from one matter that was rather obviously false.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Continuing Adventures of Bernie Patton, Fraudster

It seems our good friend Bernie Patton* might be feeling the heat in regards to some of his exploits and is desperately trying to avoid attention from the Authorities.

While investigating the claim in regards to a stolen caravan, further information came to light in regards to his recent activities.

The current occupants of his former premises paid Bernie the sum of $10,000 on the belief that he was acting for the landlord and that the monies paid would cover their rent for a month, plus a month as bond, and also the sale to them of some chattels on the premises.

All good except that the actual landlord was surprised to find them on the premises, Patton had not told him he was vacating, nor that someone else was moving in, and certainly no money was paid to the landlord by Patton, who was also several months in default.

But that's not all.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Where are they now? Mr Patton

A few years ago I introduced you to a local rogue: Bernie Patton.*

For some time, his name kept coming up on the periphery of a disproportionate number of claims investigations. Vehicles he had sold from his unlicenced car dealership had a disturbing tendency to be later stolen.

However, Patton is the proverbial cat with more-than-statistically-probable lives and he always was able to play the system and minimise his involvement. His policy of deny, deny, deny has always served him well.

Until now, hopefully.