Friday, September 30, 2005

Be a Private Investigator! Help us.

Throw out your 900 MHz Radio Shack phone!

This morning we performed an electronic sweep on a Lexus. Typically, we look for hidden active and passive GPS trackers, bumper beepers, tape recorders, and microphones and transmitters.

While the vehicle appeared clean, the client brought along her cordless phone and asked if we could check it out. The first thing that we noticed is that it was a 900 MHz phone. These older models should be discarded and replaced by newer models...unless you want your neighbors up to a half-mile away listening to your conversations. Anybody can buy a scanner for this at Radio Shack.

Even here in New York City, we can turn on our scanner and hear cordless phone and baby monitors five blocks away. While this can be amusing, one feels intrusive when doing this.

So, if you have an older, 900 MHz cordless phone, toss it and pick up a 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz model. Remember, anything that broadcasts on a radio frequency can be picked up by private parties, but ordinary people don't have the equipment to do this. The general rule to remember is: don't say anything on a phone, any phone, that you don't want a third party to hear.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Digital Surveillance Systems

Sherlock Investigations has expanded its line of electronic surveillance. A few years ago we started by placing nanny cams in homes. Now we install and maintain digital surveillance systems for both retail and commerical clients throughout New York and New England.

We work with our clients to determine their needs, educate them about available technology and design a system that meets their requirements. It's amazing what digital surveillance systems can do. For example, with the high price of gasoline, a lot of people are driving off without paying. But guess what, with our infrared digital surveillance system, we capture the license plates of every vehicle coming or going where we have the system installed.

To learn more about what our digital surveillance system can do for you, please click on the Sherlock Investigations link to our home page, and then click on Surveillance.

Our own Michael Jackson

Earlier this week we read an article about the owner of a charter jet being arrested because he bugged the plane before Michael Jackson and his lawyer boarded. The plane's owner purchased the audio and video eavesdropping devices at a spy shop. Apparently, he tried to sell the taped conversations to the media.

The story reminded me of our own Michael Jackson, of, where we purchase a lot of our electronic equipment. I've known Michael, a Brit, for several years. He's alsways helpful and honest. In fact, if you're looking for any illegal equipment, don't go to Michael Jackson. (By the way, he has no idea that I'm writing this...and he isn't connected in any way to Sherlock Investigations...we just like him.)

Earlier this year we had contemplated opening a spy shop in Manhattan's Upper West Side. Michael Jackson was going to help get us started by supplying electronic equipment. Eventually, we decided against it because we didn't want to get into the retail business, which we really know little about.

So, if you're looking for specialty electronic equipment of the spy shop nature, we highly recommend

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Don't be an idiot

Would you invest $100,000 in an investment firm that you found on the Internet? "Of course not!" you say, "Do you think I'm an idiot?"

Well, we would never call our clients names or make disparaging remarks about them, after all, we're all human. However, we've had a number of clients who did this very thing.

Usually, they'll invest a couple of thousand with some legitimate-looking online investment site. (Remember, for a few bucks anyone can have a web-site professionally designed that will look as real as Charles Schwab.) In a couple of months the company might send them four thousand. What a return!

Now that they've taken the bait, they'll invest $100,000, hoping to make a quarter-million. By the time they contact the company and ask for their earnings, the con artists are long gone.

Believe it or not, this happens all the time. We've been successful in tracking down these con artists and turning the case over to the FBI, but usually the money is long gone.

So, before you do such a foolish thing, AT LEAST Google the name of the company. In several cases, had our client done that they would have found all sorts of adverse reports about the firm that they wanted to give their money too.

Monday, September 26, 2005

You, too, can be a private eye

After hurricane Katrina we posted a request on this blog seeking the whereabouts of distant family members of the Porteous in New Orleans. Originally, we were looking for one person because we had a trip planned to New Orleans. Katrina quashed that.

Meanwhile, someone called and gave us the cell phone number of one person that we were looking for. A friend of the other one saw the blog and called her friend, who just called us.

As thousands of people read the Sherlock's Case Files blog, we plan to use it whenever we're looking for someone, and we have our client's permission to post the information.

Our first case is a follow-up on New Orleans. Sadly, there are many people still missing. It may be that they just haven't been able to communicate with family or loved ones, for various reasons. It's also possible that they didn't survive.

Now we're looking for a Marguerite Honor, the Porteous family housekeeper. She was employed 4 days per week by William A. Porteous III in New Orleans for over 33 years, and is missing following the hurricane. She did not evacuate prior to the storm.

Ms. Honor, a 74 year-old black woman, lived with her sister Viola Williams, 70, at the Mater Dolorosa Apts. at 1226 Sout Carrolton AVe, #213, in New Orleans.

The building is owned by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and was supervised by a Father John Hinton, associated with the Mater Dolorosa Church next door. He evacuated just after the hurricane. His whereabouts are unknown.

Viola Williams, Marguerite's sister, has 3 children, Lisa, Antoinette, and James.

We believe that Marguerite has a daughter named Angela Hargrove, and a grandson named Durrell.

There was a report that Marguerite and Viola were evacuated after the hurricane in a pickup with "Harry's Hardware" painted on the side, and may have gone to Gonzales, Galliano, or La Place, Louisiana, possibly with a man named Richard Seals.

If you know the whereabouts of Margauerite Honor, please call Sherlock Investigations at 888-354-2174.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Most weekends we have at least one surveillance job going down. We just wrapped up a very difficult one during UN Week. All the good hotels in New York were filled with diplomats from 150 countries. The town was swarming with all kinds of black-suited security personnel.

In the hotel where are assignment was there were Secret Service agents guarding doors with loaded shotguns, including the floor where our room was. (When conducting a surveillance at New York hotels, we always require the client to pay for a room for our investigators. With security the way it is in New York, this is a must.)

The targets of our surveillance were very high-profile people, which made the job even more difficult. Initially we placed four investigators at the site. After we established the pattern of the targets, we were able to reduce the investigators to two.

Surveillance is always a combination of skill and luck. We provided the skill, and providence provided the luck.

Employing an infrared digital camcorder, we rounded out the weekend with some fabulous video. Skill and luck.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

No More Links

Until now, we've been very open to linking with other sites. The ones we currently list are related to private investigation in some way, or we feel may be useful to those who browse our site.

In addition, we list organizations that we either support financially, or are members of, such as the New York Rotary. We encourage you, too, to support these fine organizations.

Lately, however, we've been getting many requests from totally unrelated sites, such as online furniture stores and pharmacies. Rather than respond to each one individually, we've decided to turn down all further link requests.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Finding Hidden Cameras

Here's a little secret that I discovered almost by accident. Among our equipment is a "nanny cam." It's simply a working GE clock radio. Inside, and completely undectable to the naked eye, is a hidden camera. The camera transmits to a receiver up to a 100 feet, and can be recorded and/or viewed on a TV monitor.

One day I was experimenting with a Sony digital camcorder that we also have in our equipment closet. The camcorder has a common feature called "Nightshot Plus." When switched on, an infrared beam goes out, and the camera records in black and white. You can use it in total darkness up to a limited distance.

While pointing the camcorder, with Nightshot turned on, at the nanny cam clock radio, I noticed that I could see right through the panel on the front of the clock radio, and very clearly see the hidden camera that is otherwise invisible.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

How to Hide

Every now and then we're asked "How can I start life over and hide?" Well, this is one of the things we consider when looking for people.

Some people that we're trying to locate have simply moved away and the person looking for them lost track of their whereabouts. It's often the case with friends in school.

At other times, a father who owes child support will make some efforts to hide from his ex and authorities by shredding his credit cards, closing his checking account, using cash, and getting a mail box at the UPS Store.

In extreme cases, a fugitive will go to great lengths to hide. Usually, they'll steal someone's identity, including a person's date of birth and Social Security Number.

If someone really doesn't want to be found, ever, here's the secret, which most people are either unwilling, or unable, to do. If you REALLY want to disappear and not ever be found, you must cut off all friends, relatives and associates. NO ONE, not even your best friend, should know where you are. You have to establish a totally new identity and disappear from all past associates.

However, no matter what you do, there are always links to your past which could lead to you. It could be habits, hobbies, interests (such as hunting and fishing), or favorite places. When looking for hard-to-find people we always keep these things in mind.

Monday, September 12, 2005

How to Find Anyone

I'm going to share a little secret with you that I learned a long time ago. For years, I've been looking for people, whether it's someone who skipped town without paying their utility bill, or a deadbeat dad, or a fugitive. Oftentimes it's like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Just picture this: Suppose, instead of one needle in the haystack, there are dozens of needles in the haystack...and they all know the one that you're looking for. So, instead of just one particular needle, all you have to do is find any needle, which will lead you to the one you're looking for.

It's often like that when looking for a person. Every human being on the earth knows others, whether friends, family, or work associates. When you're looking for someone, try to imagine who these other friends, family or associates are. Suddenly, your search becomes easier, because now you're looking for anyone who knows the whereabouts of the person that your looking for.

When the FBI is looking for a fugitive, they go to every person who might be connected in any way to the fugitive. They'll even tap the phones of all these friends and family members, in hopes that the fugitive will call. Then they just trace the call and bingo.

Of course, you and I can't do that, but when searching for someone, always reach out to anyone who might know the whereabouts of the person that you're looking for.

Remember, there's always someone who knows where the person is that you're looking for. Just find that person.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sherlock's Down the Hall

We just finished moving our office down the hall today, and without many kinks. If you've tried to call and got a busy signal we apologize. It's mostly working, and Verizon will have it straightened out soon. Meanwhile, as President Bush recently said, "You have to be patient."

Well, at least we have phone service, an office, and our homes, unlike many of those folks in New Orleans.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Porteous Family in New Orleans

If any readers know the whereabouts of any members of the Porteous family in New Orleans, I would appreciate a phone call. In particular, we're looking for Judge Thomas Porteous, Bill Porteous, and Elizabeth Porteous. I, Skipp Porteous, can be reached at my office at Sherlock Investigations: 212-579-4302.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina-related Scams

In the aftermath of the greatest national disaster in our lifetime, Americans are responding in all kinds of ways -- most of them very positive. However, just like some in New Orleans are taking advantage of the situation by looting, others are undoubtedly scheming to relieve generous citizens of their hard-earned money.

If you want to make a financial contribution to an aide group, contact them yourself. Don't wait for them to contact you. Many of us with receive phone calls soliciting contributions to aide those affected by hurricaine Katrina. The best way to be sure that the charity is genuine is to call well-known and establised organizations, such as the American Red Cross.

Scams involving investments are also sure to proliferate. If you want to make an investment, contact as established broker. Don't send money to some character who calls you on the phone.

When in doubt, check out any unknown individuals or organizations