A couple of years ago, one of our corporate clients contacted our office stating that his employees were stealing valuable copper scrap from their manufacturing facility and they were losing profit due to theft in the workplace. First, he had admitted that his company was guilty of improper employment background checks, specifically a criminal background search for each county of residence, but he was changing the SOP to implement authorized and updated criminal history checks. The Client brought in two VCR time lapse tapes of the suspected employees and since the video quality was poor he wanted us to video enhance it to identify the suspects. Our forensic video enhancement lab was unsuccessful since the VCR only recorded 3 frames per second and the camera resolution was extremely low as it was an outdated analog system. We made the suggestion to upgrade his covert video surveillance system to a high-resolution digital system with low light capabilities. He was losing money so fast that we immediately placed an undercover investigator into the second shift workforce where he believed most of the theft occurred. Within six weeks our undercover (UC) investigator not only identified three employees stealing the copper scrap, but also identified over 20% of the workforce under the influence of meth and/or other opiate drugs. We also identified the scrap dealer who was buying the stolen copper with the knowledge that it was stolen.
Litigation and prosecution then ensued. Fortunately, our client took our advice and upgraded the covert video surveillance system because last month he called again and wanted our forensic video enhancement lab to enhance some video on the shipping/receiving dock to obtain some vehicle license plates. This involved an even bigger theft; two parked trailers over the weekend were picked up by thieves and driven off. This time our video enhancement was successful and the plate numbers were identified and given to law enforcement who eventually recovered the missing trailers. Unfortunately, they were empty but with their investigation, it led to the culprits. It pays to have an effective, high-resolution surveillance system.
~Tim Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators, All In Investigations, Inc.