Date of Theft Occurrence:1/15/2013
Location: BLACKSBURG, VA 24060 US
51 Rolls of Copper wiring (20 rolls of #10 and 31 rolls of #12 gauge)each roll had approximately 2500′ of wire, 20′ lengths of copper tubing from 1/2″ – 3″ OD (approximately 1700 pieces), 14 rolls of 12.2 x 12.3 high and low voltage copper wire.
BulldogPI’s response: Quite frankly, I don’t see this happening without help from an employee. (IE: An ‘inside’ job)
I also don’t see the police able to solve a well thoughtout heist of this nature. I doubt that anyone who knows anything will willingly talk to them, or that a routine inquiry at local scrapyards will result in worthwhile leads, but time will tell.
A heist of this type SCREAMS hire a private investigator to me, but it’s more likely that the company will merely file a claim with their insurance company and chalk it up as a cost of doing business.
Reported Value: 100,000
VirginiaPrivateInvestigator.com is a consortium of investigative firms throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia led by Bulldog Investigations, LLC in southwestern Virginia and Investigative Research Specialists, LLC in northern Virginia. Together they are able to offer an array of services not generally found in one agency.
From the New River Valley throughout Virginia Bulldog Investigations, LLC handles the complex and hard cases other private investigators turn down. No case is too big or too small. Every case is important and deserves the best. James Pollock owner of Bulldog Investigations is known as a no-nonsense get the job done private investigator. His reputation for doggedness and loyalty to his clients has earned him the respect of many New River Valley attorneys.
Bulldog Investigations, LLC
DCJS License #11-6038
Investigative Research Specialists, LLC is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business located in Prince William County Virginia with over 20 years of experience. Larry Zilliox, President of the firm, is a member of Elder Angels, Inc., the Virginia Coalition for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, Inc. (Child). He is a board member of the Professional Investigators and Security Association and the Virginia Professional Investigators Political Action Committee. He has written for PI Magazine and is the author of The Opposition Research Handbook: A Guide to Political Investigations, 4th Ed. and Personalized Terror: A Protection Plan for Stalking Victims.
Investigative Research Specialists, LLC
Suddenly there seems to be a surge of private investgation companies showing up out there with the name “Bulldog Investigations.” Companies with that trade name have appeared in Iowa, Arkansas and Alabama.
One such company “Bulldog Investigations LLC” out of Alabama appears focused on process serving and I can’t help but wonder if they are trying to mislead clients into believing they are somehow affiliated with Pollock’s Process Serving [our sister company].
Although it’s somewhat flattering to find multiple companies appearing with the “Bulldog Invetigations” in their name, italso smells a tad deceptive. Bulldog Investigations LLC is located in southwest Virginia… not Kentucky, Idaho, Arkansas, or anywhere else.
Since some members of PISA are keeping abreast of developments related to UAV regulation (and privacy issues relating to same), I thought there may be some interest in my recen t correspondence with AUVSI. A quick perusal of the article available at the link below, and the AUVSI “Code of Conduct” (contained within) will bring you up to speed, and is recommended reading prior to reading my attached response.
I apologize for a bit of sloppy writing in my email to AUVSI, but I think my general sentiments expressed stands on their own. In summary, I’m concerned about the AUVSI trying to reassure the general public regarding the ‘drone’ industry, while marketing products designed for surveillance purposes. I’m interested to hear others thoughts on the matter.
From: email@example.com ]
Sent: Thursday, August 9
I respectfully disagree with at least two of the items in the recently (announced? proposed?) code of conduct [August 2012 issue of Unmanned Systems, page 44].
Under the ‘Respect’ section of the AUVSI code of conduct, two items strike me as questionable statements:
#1 We will respect the privacy of individuals
#2 We will respect the concerns of the public as they relate to unmanned aircraft operations.
Making such statements strikes me as counter-productive to our intended purpose as an organization.
I certainly don’t intend to imply that I don’t respect the privacy of indviduals, or the concerns of the public. That said, I believe we should have a bit of honest discussion and/or debate on this matter. Quite a few AUVSI members are interested in these technologies from a reconissance standpoint. My company wishes to explore the use of ‘drone’ technologies to enhance the effectiveness of private investigation efforts. Other member companies within AUVSI anticipate manufacturing UAS products for sale to law enforcement agencies. The intended purpose of these products no doubt include surveillance. What exact message are we seeking to convey through these statements? Will they then be questioned as to their honesty? I’m not sure that putting the items of ‘respect for privacy’ and the ‘concerns of the public’ into AUVSI’s code of conduct constitutes a wise move. How can a UAS manufacturer support those statements on the one hand and sell products that are used for surveillance purposes with the other? The code of conduct as written could perhaps ultimately result in unanticipated additional scrutiny of AUVSI. The privacy related items as contained within the code do not ring true to me. I cannot therefore publicly endorse them. I suspect many other firms within our organization walk upon ‘thin ice’ if they choose to do so.
I’m certainly not implying that voicing an inferred contradictory message would be prove a prudent course of action. That,perhaps, we do not respect the privacy of individuals or public concerns regarding same. My suggestion is that we remain offically neutral within the developing controversial quagmire. Otherwise we should anticipate expending a tremendous amount of time and energy clarification of our position.
President, Bulldog Investigations & Security, LLC.
Here’s my definition of a hero.
Little else to say. I’ll be making that donation.
” As Anaheim police Chief John Welter continues to deal with community unrest after two fatal officer-involved shootings, he is focused on maintaining peace and calm in a city best recognized for Disneyland and the Angels.”
“Aside from trying to prevent more violence from erupting in downtown, Welter is trying to find ways to reach out to the community and to improve police-community relations.”
The chief seeks ways to reach out to the community and improve relations?
Wow… ok… Gee that’s a tough one.
Let me think….
What moron gave the order to release an attack dog on the crowd? Are you freaking kidding me? I highly doubt shooting rubber bullets, pepper balls and releasing that dog was necessary. The crowd was apparently angry about a questionable police shooting against a fleeing suspect.
Yeah, that was smart… sick an attack dog on a crowd of unarmed people, a crowd including women and little kids. I’m sure that will squash all the anger of Anaheim residents. Yep, sure looks like LE is protecting and serving in California.
DOB12/13/1987 Age: 24
University of Colorado Student
Major: Neuroscience studies
Graduate of Westview High School in San Diego, Calif. in 2006
Mr. Holmes previously resided in San Diego, California prior to moving to Colorado. He was pursuing his PhD in Neuroscience studies but mysteriously dropped out of the program last month. His parents have issued a statement of regret:
“Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved.”
This whole situation begs the question: Were there warning signs? What set him off?
At the time of Mr. Holmes arrest in the Aurora Mall parking lot, he had an AR15 style rifle, two pistols, and a shotgun. A large quantity of explosive materials has also been retrieved from his nearby apartment.
Searches of the California and Colorado court systems reveal no prior criminal record
At the time of his arrest, Mr. Holmes (who’s hair was died red) told police “I’m the Joker.”
BulldogPI’s response: No, not the joker, You are a misguided dirtball….
Apparently there was a mass shooting just outside of Denver at the Aurora Mall. The shooting occured at 12:30 AM this morning. A man kicked in a rear fire door, threw a smoke bomb or a tear gas canister into the theatre and began shooting into the crowd. Fifteen people have died, several after being transported to the hospital.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says a gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon were found inside the suspects vehicle while the suspect was apprehended.
Police have raided an apartment complex where shooting suspect lived, possible additional explosive devices have been found in his residence
An eyewitness told news reporters that the gunman was dressed in a SWAT-like outfit. He apparently shot people as they tried to exit the room.
The victims range in age from 6 to 31. No motive for the shooting is yet known.
Some photos from the crime scene:
Update July 20, 2012 12:22 PM:
Colorado State Police identify suspect as: James Holmes, age 24
University of Colorado student
Snippets from the CNN article:
She was told she was too aggressive, too confrontational, that she wasn’t fitting in with “the Penn State way.”
Looking back, she says, “I was putting my neck out and taking a stand, but there weren’t many people with me.”
When it all fell apart, Triponey felt completely alone
I know Paterno has so much power that if he had wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone,” one janitor told investigators. “Football runs this university.”
Edsall, her former colleague at UConn, says Triponey stands in contrast to the other officials at Penn State and the choices they made. “She lost her job, but she never lost her principles, her values or her morals,” he said.
She took a stand for what she believed in, Edsall said, but the leadership at Penn State didn’t want to change.
I guess we all have our own definition of what makes someone a hero. Mine is s person who takes a stand because someone needs to. Generally speaking, they find themselves alone, chastised, and unpopular.
He (or she) stand up anyway… and push back against the elephant.
A client recently hugged and thanked me for ‘everything I had done’ to help them get their loved one back. Fighting back tears I responded that I really hadn’t done all that much…. “we had either gotten very lucky or were helped by a higher power.”
The woman looked at me and disagreed: “Yes you did. The way you helped most was reminding us that we have rights, and to never…ever give up.
We all have our strengths… we all have our weaknesses. My own greatest strength is the ability to hold on with fierce tenacity… to stay the course. It is also sometimes my greatest obstacle.
About seven years ago I went through the most painful experience of my life. During that traumatic event I learned something. There is indeed a time to relax one’s grip. That time comes when the decision to stay the course hurts others beyond any postive outcome. Perhaps Penn State administration should of learned that lesson years ago with Sandusky. Instead it decided to protect it’s cash cow: the football program.
Vicky Triponey however was different. She may not of known the evil transpiring within the locker rooms, but she saw the lengths that Penn State would go to protect its celebrities. I’m sure the temptation came up more then once to back off and go silent. Instead, she kept to her guns, fought for what she knew was right.
I’m about to embark on a new case. This investigation is of the type that I’ve waited for since the beginning… it also really scares me.
On this one I either make a huge difference or don’t.
I’m going up against a powerful adversary. The picture unfolding before me reveals a truly evil person, possibly a socialpath. This man seems to truly enjoy hurting people. What I don’t know (yet) is how deep the rabbit hole goes. How many people have suffered at his hand?
It was kind of hard to sleep last night.
BulldogPI a hero? Nah… I just don’t like dirtballs very much.
Please God, help me find a way to stop the suffering.
Stay the course…..
It’s probably no surprise that the BulldogPI is fairly self sufficient. Having a well maintained generator and enough fuel to run it intermittently for a week just makes sense to me. That said, it really ticks me off that corporate America has begun to view quality customer service as an un-necessary expense. Today more and more companies (not to mention politicians) just point the finger in someone else’s direction following a preventable tragedy while simultaneously bombarding the public with pr campaigns professing how they’re in our corner . Welcome to the new American mindset: rake in profits and pass the blame….
Yesterday unusually hot weather resulted in hurricane force winds sweeping across Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio as evening hours approached. I’ve heard estimates as high as 60% of AEP’s customers lost power in this region as a result of the storms. That’s not quite how I see things however….
AEP’s been warned about this particular tree on a number of occasions for the past three years. I know this because I’m the one who reported it. Following a heavy rain last year, you could actually hear the leaves sizzling in the powerlines. The Narrows volunteer fire department arrived on the scene and again AEP was contacted. No action was taken by the power conglomerate however, and the high voltage power lines are now totally engulfed by limbs. Another good windstorm and half the town could loose electricity from this one troublespot.
So much for the philosphy of addressing a problem before it gets out of hand.
Moral of the story: Don’t expect the system to take care of you and yours. Address potential problems before they occur or you risk being left in the dark.
A few days ago I stumbled on this website and read a message from an insurance claimant who had concerns regarding a possible private investigator. Apparently the pi had called him and requested an interview…. and the claimant posted a message asking fellow forum members their opinion regarding the matter. Was it truly a PI? Would a PI announce themself as such? Should he be concerned?
A couple of the responses I read implied a general lack of understanding of how private investigation works and what we do. One of the things that we do, is interview people… in some cases including the subject of the investigation. Yours truly was previously employed by a company that did nothing BUT insurance and workmens compensation investigations. I believe I could of been of great benefit to the members of the forum, being willing to give an in-depth, no holds barred insights. What to watch for, how to spot a private investigator, and how to deal with one if you are indeed being watched. I hold no doubt that my input would of been tremendously valuable to someone.
In an act of pure stupidity I was banned the morning after my well intentioned post… No explanation given, no expression of concern or inquiry as to why I had joined. Just banned. Talk about short sighted…. A much more intelligent approach would of been to contact me and ask my intentions, not just pull a knee-jerk reaction.
If you want to get on a forum where the general public speculates how to spot a private investigator, head on over.
If a better understanding of what to actually look for watch for sounds more useful… stick around.
I wouldn’t of announced myself as a pi if conducting an investigation of a forum member. Uhh… no… An alias would prove much more appropriate if that was the case.
In any case, I’ve learned quite a bit regarding how things work, both from a business perspective as well as conducting investigations. Generally speaking, I remain unimpressed with how insurance companies pursue (or don’t) possible fraudulent workmens’ compensation claims. When they do actually choose to check up on a claimant, they typically don’t do their homework. Rarely do they consider WHO actually works the case.
I’ve already discussed my feelings on the matter pretty thoroughly. For whatever reason (large advertising budgets… a gratuity here and there… etc) the insurance companies either contact large investigative firms which pay their employees squat, or a firm that merely acts as a middleman. The latter typically does what should of occurred from the get go, and locates an investigator in the area of need.
Unfortunately it’s rare for the subcontacting agency to actually verify credentials and reputation. Instead the Modus Operandi seems to be the pursuit of a warm body to place in front of the subjects residence (at a substandard wage). The goal is reselling services, not necesssarily results.
Many insurance companies (frustrated with a lack of results no doubt) have begun to wane from using pi’s altogether. Instead of considering a flaw in their approach, it’s easier to blame the blame the industry.
So for multiple reasons, I’ve decided to launch an experiment. Consider this an invitation for candid dialogue. Perhaps some of you stumbled on this blog through webcrawler searches… You may have questions I can help answer. How do I spot a private investigator? How does surveillance work? What do I do if I suspect being followed?
Whether this goes anywhere is up to you.
From the PINOW.com article:
“Many challenges present themselves to private investigators daily but some are part of the job and some are an outcome of the current economic and professional atmosphere.”
“Large investigation firms:
Large investigation firms are popping up in states with no license requirement and offering their services to individuals across the country. This practice can create an environment where clients are not getting the best services, and it is causing many local investigators to lose work.”
This is certainly not news to the Bulldog. In fact, it’s about time PINOW addressed the issue. Is it such a surprise large investigation corporations are not the most efficient way for clients to find answers? Unfortunately fewer and fewer people have a proactive mindset. The growing trend is to follow the path of least resistance, not research effective options.
In case my readership hasn’t figured out, this ‘Namby Pamby’ approach doesn’t set well with the BulldogPI.
PINOW article, Item #2:
Government regulations that affect investigators, such as audio and video surveillance laws, have a large effect on how investigators work. Some investigators believe stricture regulations and laws prevent them from conducting investigations efficiently and completing their jobs properly and quickly…”
I find the whole situation saturated with bitter Irony. Here in Virginia, the topic of private investators utilizing GPS devices remains a hot one with lawmakers determined to end the practice. Meanwhile, we can’t even get DCJS to effectively enforce regulations already in place. ‘Outlaw investigators’ continue to appear on the scene, way too few are actually ever penalized.
My profession has fallen into ‘hard times’ for many reasons. I’ve noticed that attorneys, generally speaking, view PI’s as competition for billable hours, versus an effective resource. I guess they plan on obtaining evidence through some sort of osmosis… or perhaps court is now more about posturing and good theatre. Many insurance (not to mention telecommunications) have taken short sighted viewpoints of ‘acceptable losses’ stemming from fraudulent claims and/or theft. Why should they care after all? Those expenses are just transferred on to their customers for the most part, who remain in blissfull ignorance.
As CEO of Bulldog Investigations, last month I made a major decision. We are shifitng gears from the realm of ‘general practicioners’ to highly trained ‘specialists’ of the industry. The new game plan is a very risky move, but the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows… and Ive got some stuff left in the basement. After all, did you expect less from yours truly?
Like it or not, here they come:
Unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles (also known as drones, or UAVs) will soon be hovering in the skys above. In fact, they already are. A number of companies are already offering aerial photography services…. in clear defiance of FAA’s restrictions. The Feds sit back and do nothing while the lid beings blowing off the pressure cooker. Truth be told, I think they’re afraid someone might actual challenge their jurisdiction over anything and everything airborne over the United States. Just how do the r/c helicopters being used in California to advertise real estate in a new way, flying between 25 and 50 feet off the ground, pose a threat to air traffic?
One company even recently used r/c aircraft to promote a movie.
You mean to tell me this wasn’t a commercial use?
From what I understand,these r/c pilots were even given permission by NYC authorities to fly around the statute of liberty.
The drone approach won’t work for everything… but it will prove tremendously helpful for those situations where an investigator needs to take a quick look.
What vehicles are present at that house I cannot see back there in the woods?
Hmm, I thought John Doe was out on disability due to his injuries. That sure looks like him up on the roof…..
This is the direction I plan to take my company and the area I plan to specialize in.
BulldogPI is a proud member of AUVSI (the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International)
I hope facebook heeds my advice, I don’t think as of yet I’ve heard one positive comment regarding their new timeline format. Facebook needs to remember that they are ultimately a business, one focused primarily on profit through advertising and popularity. If they make the mistake of not listening to their customers then they risk declining in popularity. I’m sure plenty of other ‘upstart companies’ would love to fill the void….
You would think that it wouldn’t take a PI to help them figure that out.
Just some of Frontier Communications losses for March 2012
3/28/2012 DAESE, WV 650 feet of 50 pair/24 gauge cable
(SCV approximately 11,000)
3/18/2012 Gauley Bridge, WV 840 feet of aerial telephone cable
3.19/2012 Bradshaw, WV 800 feet of aerial telephone cable
3/15/2012 LAWTON, WV 300 feet of aerial telephone cable
3/9/2012 Summersville, WV 320 feet of aerial telephone cable
(SCV approximately 3,000)
3/6/2012 Branchland, WV 250 feet of aerial telephone cable
Note: [SCV is an aconym for Scrap Copper Value] The figures do not indicate actual value of cable or installation expenses, but solely the approximate scrap value of the copper. Actual replacement costs are MUCH higher.
On Thursday, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s department will make an official statement regarding the Caldwell Fields murders. At that time they intend to release several pieces of information publicly:
Type of Murder Weapon
Vehicles of Interest
Apparently Sheriff Whitt will also be making a statement to the murderer.
I respect the Montgomery County Sheriff’s department and their efforts on this case. That said, I believe that the investigation has stalled because they simply don’t have enough to move any further forward. Making an official statement of this nature likely accomplishes two primary goals:
1. It keeps the investigation in the public eye, and perhaps encourages additional tips
2. It reassures the community that the task force hasn’t given up and is still working the case.
I woke up at 3:30 this morning. Typically that happens when the BulldogPI has alot on his mind; this morning is not an exception. When I do wake up this early, I also tend to become a bit philosophical.
At some point in our lives, we all face a crossroad of some type or another. Do we veer to the left, or turn to the right? Five years ago I reached such an intersection and made my choice. I became a private investigator. A faltering economy, lack of code enforcement, and narrowing mindsets have all taken their toll on my profession. What once appeared a promising career path began to resemble a dead end job.
After a lot of pondering on what to do next, an idea began to form. Rather then give up, Ive decided to whip out my machete, and start hacking through the undergrowth. The essence of BulldogPI: A frontiersman, an explorer, in today’s manicured world.
Time to get back on topic: Caldwell Fields
The type of Murder Weapon:
The Bulldog knows what weapon was used that terrible evening. I have known for quite some time. On Thursday alot of people will be surprised to learn it wasn’t a pistol, but a rifle which took the lives of David Metzler and Heidi Childs.
It’s not surprising that the killer took some personal items as momentos. I believe one of those items was Heidi’s purse. There may of been a few others. Obviously I’ll be paying attention to what the task force has to say on Thursday.
Authorities found David Metzler’s body inside his 1992 Toyota Camry, parked at the scene. Heidi has apparently made it out of the vehicle, attempted to run, but only made it a short distance away. Following the vehicles seizure, a search warrant was filed with the Montgomery County Circuit Court. According to the warrant, investigators sought “firearms, weapons, shell or bullet casings, fingerprints, DNA and the identification of the people involved.” Hairs and a sweatshirt were discovered and taken from the scene.
Vehicles of Interest
A review of old news stories reveals a list of vehicles of interest to the task force. I believe strongly one of them (and specifically which one) does in fact belong to the murderer.
This is an area that LE will not expand on. However, investigators have previously stated two strong suspicions:
1. The person or group responsible for the murders is familiar with the area.
2. Additionally that they had a reason to be at Caldwell Fields on that day.
The BulldogPI agrees with both.
Sheriff Whitt also plans to make a statement to the murderer.
Sorry to ‘butt in line…’ but me first.
Alright Dirtball, that’s long enough. Here I come. You were warned not to let me stumble upon your identity. True to form, dirtballs rarely heed good advice. That’s part of who they are. Bulldog’s don’t typically let things go. That’s part of who we are. We all have our unique roles to play in life.
For just a moment, I hear the inner voice of doubt:
“BulldogPI what the heck are you rambling about? You don’t have access to SO MANY resources and bits of information at LE’s disposal. What chance do you have?”
I pause with a stern expression on my face. Slowly…it transforms… becoming a smile. A different voice calls out to me this time. Inspiring thoughts return from the past.
“…I also hope I would of had courage enough to intervene, even at the risk of my own life.
“Why? A total stranger? Do you have some sort of hero complex?”
No. It’s not that, but far more selfish reasons. How could I look at myself in the mirror the following morning if I just walked away? Worse yet, the week after? It’s because I know something about losing a child. It’s because I would give everything to not know. For there to have been a different outcome. If only someone could of stepped in. Anyone.”
The BulldogPI lies deep within me. He’s buried underneath plenty of faults, but like Prego, ‘he’s in there.’ The Bulldog won’t let me give up. Like all men, someday I will leave this world and answer to God… and to my deceased son. The Caldwell Fields mystery has gone on long enough. It’s time for closure. It’s time for determination, guts, and a few things in the basement….
I also have something that the task force doesn’t have. A new weapon has appeared in my arsenal, a new trick up my sleeve…..
In response to the multiple emails I’ve recieved regarding this blog post… yes, I do have a strong suspect. The challenge is proving it….
Location: Bradshaw, WV 24817 US
Details: 800 feet of aerial telephone cable. Cable is described as 400 pair/22 gauge copper. Cable will contain 800 individual wires.
800 feet of 400 pair cable?? That type of cable weighs approximately 1.6 lbs per foot prior to uhhh….’processing’ it for it’s copper content. We’re talking over 1400 lbs of cable just walking off here, and over 1000 lbs of copper showing up at a WV scapyard ‘un-noticed.’ What’s the replacement cost of that plus labor…. over 20k?
“Frontier Communications Continues to Aggressively Combat Theft of Copper Wire”
Give me a break…. I don’t know how aggressively Frontier is ‘combating’ the theft, but whatever their tactics are sure don’t seem particularly effective.
I’m convinced…. Norma Parson was right all along….and (almost surprisingly)… so was I.
A crucial missing puzzle piece is (or was) located on the UVA campus itself.
As to why poor Morgan Harrington’s remains were found on Anchorage Farm… that answer seems to lie not with the farm, but rather with it’s proximity to Blandemar Estates.
Think Bulldog. Think. Solidify the connection between Blandemar Estates, UVA’s west lawn, ‘sketch’, and who Morgan left with…
Provide the answer, long overdue.
Great…another restless night…
Someone in Charlottesville knows something. BulldogPI has learned to trust his instincts, and they are absolutely screaming that someone connected to UVA holds the missing key. Please don’t let this mystery drag on any longer. … the Harringtons deserve closure.
That was their daughter, not just a statistic. I agree with their message:
Help save the next girl.
Talk to me.
Dana Waldo says the thefts are hurting his company’s overall efforts to prepare the Mountain State for the future.
“We’re trying to wire up this state and we have to go back and put our resources, our time and money and effort into restringing wire that was already there, instead of stringing new wire into new areas of the state for additional service,” Waldo said on Tuesday’s MetroNews Talkline.
He estimates Frontier’s service is disrupted four times a week, at least, because of copper thefts.
The company has had to replace a total of 33,000 feet of telephone cable in recent months and thousands of Frontier customers have lost service for stretches of time, creating potential safety issues.
Here are some of Frontier’s reported losses for March thus far:
3/02/2012 Bradshaw, WV 300 feet of 600 Pair 24 Gauge ATC (Big Bucks)
3/02/2012 Iaeger, WV 300 feet of 300 Pair 24 Gauge ATC
3/06/2012 Branchland, WV 250 feet of ATC
3/09/2012 Summersville, WV 320 feet of ATC, 100 pair/19 gauge copper
3/15/2012 LAWTON, WV 300 feet of ATC, 100 pair/24 guage copper
***ATC: Acronym for Aerial Telephone Cable
Frontier Communications is aggresively combating wire theft.
Hmm. Really? I stand corrected.
Interestingly enough, Frontier apparently doesn’t have a reward program. They believe it’s not necessary since WV citizens are motivated by a desire to keep their telecommunications services.
Let’s see what the West Virginia division of Frontier Communications gave away in phone cable today:
Bradshaw, WV 24817 US
300 feet of 600 Pair 24 Gauge Aerial Telephone Cable
Iaeger, WV 24844 US
300 feet of 300 Pair 24 Gauge Aerial Telephone Cable
Someone else do the conversion from feet of cable to x thousands of dollars. I’m tired from yesterday’s math. If you’re volunteering, take a stab at estimated labor costs for me as well, I’m starting to really wonder about that.
Here’s a new contender in the copper losses sweepstakes:
03/2/2012 Dixie, WV
Details: Service went out on an outage and found 19 spans of neutral wire had been cut down and stolen.
You don’t say. Electric Service went out? I’m kinda wondering how much effort is being put at a few scrapyards out there….
When this pickup truck with a bed so full of copper wiring that the tires might blow and the driver gets out and says “Uh, I’m rewiring my house….” What exactly is your response? Do you accept that explanation at face value? Hmmm…. Let me take a moment to share all the wonderful benefits of BB&T’s Bright Banking program…”
A few months ago I was informed by BB&T that they are starting a new system for their customers. Similiar to the “Patriot Act” they tried to perform some sort of a whitewash job, by attaching a feel good title to the scheme. Now BB&T customers are subjected to a new onslaught of fees and polices under what they’ve entitled: ‘Bright Banking”
After all, who doesn’t want to be ‘bright’ with their banking decisions? Kudos are in order to their marketing department for that one. Unfortunately when something really stinks, the odor seeps through the package regardless of how nicely you wrap it.
For the most part the BulldogPI has refrained from using vulgarity on his blog…. so in the interest of professionalism I will hold back from my impulse to release a long and profanity laden rant about BB&T and their new Bright Banking system. That’s really not all that necessary anyway, a summary should get the point across.
Since the creation of “Bright Banking” BB&T has closed my local branch (a cost saving measure no doubt), increased the frequency and amount of banking fees (every time I sneeze I find a new fee on my statements), and made it extremely cumbersome to reach an actual person if you call their customer service line. You know who’s fault all this ultimately is?
OURS, as consumers…..
Now that we’re not in the heyday of the ’90’s, it seems like the corporations are turning to the American consumer and hitting them with this fee, or that fee at every turn. Do you need technical support on the printer you bought three months ago? Expect a Fee. Do you have less then $1,500 dollars in your checking account? Expect a Fee. Do you want to use your debt card at the grocery store? Expect a fee…
It’s time for people to stand up and make use of the power they have as consumers, and stop sitting complacently by the slidelines….. when companies like BB&T pull this garbage, move your business elsewhere. Start blogs, voice your frustations, let other people know how you feel and why. Stop acting lke a bunch of sheep people!
As for BB&T, I hope you loose customers s by the thousands from your new “Bright Banking” approach. My translation for BB&T’s new slogan, is ‘we’re banking that you aren’t very bright and will put up with inconvienence and extra fees at every turn.”
BB&T: Bright Banking Terms
Checking: This account costs $50 to open, with a $10 monthly fee ($12 in Kentucky and Indiana) unless a $100 monthly direct deposit is made or a $2,000 minimum balance ($7,500 in Kentucky and Indiana) is maintained or a mortgage with BB&T OR $6,000 combined deposit and loan balances. The insufficient funds fee is $35 for overdrafts over $5.
There is a $25 fee if the account is closed within three months of opening and a $7.50 monthly inactivity fee after a year.
Debit Card: This is included with all checking accounts (no additional fees). Out-of-network ATM withdrawal is $2.50 ($5 internationally).
Who could turn down such a great program?
BulldogPI’s response: Bright Banking? I think not….. and neither do they:
The copper bandits in West Virginia have been busy little beavers. It must be awful smokey up there in Mingo County.
Let’s take a look at some recently reported thefts. The most recent one being worthy of it’s spot at the top:
Matewan, WV 25678 US
370 feet of 600 pair/22 gauge copper.
[BulldogPI note: This is a very large, thick, and heavy cable. Frontier Communications no longer appears to be reporting estimated values or copper weights. Maybe they're not fond of my blog discussing them.]
Now I need to do some calculations if I want to estimate losses. Luckily the loss on 02/22/12 helps simplify that problem. Based on the estimated value of the 2/22/12 theft, the 02/27/12 heist sounds like over 17,000 dollars worth of copper!
BulldogPI, how ya figure?
(Well, let’s do some quick PI Math. The 02/22/12 theft implies that 200 pair cable weighs approximately one pound per foot. Remember the total estimated weight of the loss that day was approximately 700 lbs. I’m reasoning 600 pair wire of the same diameter (22gauge) would yield three times the copper per foot [all other factors being equal] If you then multiply 370 feet of copper times 3 lbs per foot, we’re talking around 1,100 lbs of copper. That’s about half again the yield of 02/22/12’s theft in Harts, WV. Multiplying the estimated value of that theft by 1.5 should put me somewhere in the ballpark. So, I’m figuring between 18 and 20K worth of copper. Pretty good wages for the day if you ask me. That amount of cable and weight wasn’t just lugged away by bubba in a pickup truck. He’s good, but not THAT good. Bubba must of had a helping hand or two…)
Also, keep in mind the value of the copper is only a fraction of the total expense of replacement. They must still dispatch trucks, crews, and time to replace the damaged lines.
Other reported losses:
300 Feet of 300 Pair 22 Gauge Aerial Telephone Cable
500 Feet of 300 Pair Aerial Telephone Cable
700 feet of 200 pair/22 gauge copper.
Estimated 650-700 lbs of copper.
Estimated value: $12,000.00
500 feet of 50 pair/19 gauge copper
Estimated Value: $4,300.00
250 feet of aerial telephone cable 100 pair/22 guage copper.
Estimated Value: $2200.00
200 feet of aerial telphone cable. 200 pair/22 guage copper.
Estimated 150-200 lbs of copper.
Estimated Value: $3500.00
Actual email correspondence between your truly, and a very busy paralegal. She is employed with an prestigious firm in a metropolitan area outside of Virginia. I have little doubt that ‘Dolores’ stays extremely busy with such a demanding job. I am quite flattered that she took the time to send such kind words of praise. She’s a true class act, as my father used to say. After sending my response, I decided to share it with my readership, whoever you are… out there in cyberspace. Hopefully the correspondence between Dolores and I gives some insight into the BulldogPI’s determination on behalf of clients. The service in question was not a simple matter. The recipient resides in the middle of coal country, moves almost yearly, and doesn’t like visitors. Still, after an initial tense moment, the service went smoothly enough. The biggest challenge was in locating her.
The actual names of the individuals in question have been changed out of the need for confidentiality. [In case someone didn't pick up on that. Better get yourself some coffee....] Those are the only changes that were made.
From: ‘Dolores Smith’
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:48 AM
Cc: ‘Steven L. Jones’
Subject: RE: Invoice attached
James, I received your invoice and will process it immediately. I am also going to put your contact information into our contact database so I don’t lose you. You have been a true professional to work with and I thank you again for the over and beyond measures you took to ensure that we effected service of process on ‘Jane Doe.’ It was very nice working with you, and I hope to be able to do it again in the future.
BulldogPI’s emailed response:
It was my pleasure. If you need something, even just advice or a question about Virginia or West Virginia, give me a call. I don’t charge for trying to be helpful. Besides, as my brother (a professional recruiter) has drilled into my head: “Everyone knows someone.” My business is a word of mouth referral business. If I don’t keep Ms. ‘Smith’ or Mr. ‘Jones’ happy, then they don’t recommend me when a colleague has a need in my territory. Doing that little bit extra is not only the way a professional should be, it’s good business.
If you (or a colleague) need something in Virginia or West Virginia and it’s too far from me to be practical, I try to refer over to an associate I trust. I don’t charge for that either. In short, if the phone’s not ringing, and my customers aren’t happy, my son doesn’t get to eat… and that little cuss sure is growing!
It’s been a pleasure Dolores,
James ‘BulldogPI’ Pollock
Now who else is in need of a solution to their problem?
I have no doubt the media and politicians will launch a new wave of blame at gun ownership. After all, that’s a much easier pill to swallow then the other possibility: that Americas declining values had a part to play. The root cause here lies not in video games, firearms, or loud rock music, but the lack of a positive role model.
KS, legal assistant with a Princeton WV law firm.
Today’s theft alert:
700 feet of Aerial Telephone Cable stolen
Date of theft: 2/22/2012 , around 1am
HARTS, WV area
650-700 lbs of copper once the sheathing is burned off.
The estimated value of the copper:
Estimated labor charges to repair the damage:
I’m not even going to attempt a guess
Missed opportunity of reducing such huge losses
I don’t know who wrote this monologue from the movie “Rocky Balboa” but that man had taken a few lumps in his life. Maybe someday the BulldogPI can sit with him and have a beer.
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you!
Enough philosophizing for now. It’s 4:50 AM and my day begins…. showtime.
Why should today be any different then yesterday? It seems like every day or two Frontier is loosing another 3 to 5k from copper theft. From studying over the alerts, I’ve gleaned some useful patterns.. but of course Frontier doesn’t need any hints. Nope, they’ve got it all under control.
2/17/2012 Location: Branchland, WV 25506 US
Details: 200 feet of aerial telphone cable. Cable is described as 200 pair/22 guage copper. If sheathing is burnt or melted this length and type of cable would yield about 150-200 lbs of copper.
Reported Value: $3500.00
Contact Name: Bryan C. Stover
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I describe Frontier Communications losses as “Copper Harvesting” versus theft because it’s a much more apt description. Apparently Frontier Communications’ cables are ripe for the picking. For the last three months the BulldogPI has recieved constant security alerts and news links discussing Frontier’s losses.
Above is merely a small sample, I could provide literally DOZENS of examples (if not over a hundred) from the past six months. A few quotes in particular have really grabbed my attention.
“The area has already been hit six times this month with copper cable thefts impacting telephone and Internet service for about 3,000 families, Zach Tomblin, a spokesman for Frontier, said. The two communities have spotty to non-existent cell phone service — meaning if someone had a medical or police emergency they would have no way of calling 911 when their landline service is down due to a copper theft.”
The same area, six times, one month…. Gee, maybe there’s a problem?
Finally I decided to send an email to the name continuously mentioned as Frontier Communication’s security ‘go to’ person: Brian Stowe. In the email, I made a few suggestions on how to improve the situation. One of my ideas is the deployment of a quick response investigation unit during a service disruption. That seems like a better idea then showing up a day or two later and looking up at poles where the cables used to be. “Yep… them there durn copper thieves took some more of our cables Tommy.”
Mr. Stowe’s politely worded response summarized:
“I have many years of law enforcement experience…”
“We appreciate your concern but are not hiring private investigators at this time….”
“It appears that you have many comments on many different aspects of our cases, which I can probably only guess you are attempting to solicit business.”
The implied message: “We are dealing with the problem… thanks, but no thanks.”
Some recent copper theft alerts where Frontier was apparently victimized:
1/8/2012 Matewan, WV 700′ of aerial telephone cable
1/10/2012 IAEGER, WV 350′ of aerial telephone cable
1/13/2012 Bradshaw, WV 1000′ of aerial telephone cable
1/18/2012 Bradshaw, WV 800′ of aerial telephone cable
1/20/2012 Mohawk, WV 400′ of aerial telephone cable
1/20/2012 Bradshaw, WV 350′ of aerial telephone cable
2/5/2012 Iaeger, WV Theft of 5 separate sections of aerial telephone cable
(each being 300 feet in length) The thieves worked O/T that day…
2/9/2012 HANOVER, WV 900′ of aerial telephone cable
I remain equally impressed with AEP’s “proactive” investigative efforts
1/13/2012 Cabin Creek WV Theft of approximately 2,800′
Yep, looks to me like a lot of headway is being made in addressing the problem. I’m sure that between installation costs, and the cables themselves we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses… this year alone.
Bulldog’s question for Frontier Customers: Who ultimately pays for the thefts?
The costs of replacement cable and installation obviously impact fees charged Frontier’s customers.
Meanwhile another large corporate conglomerate whines about a problem, pleas for assistance from the public, and expects law enforcement to dedicate extensive, already streched thin resources to addressing their issue.
How realistic. How proactive. How typical.
“Rather than focus on the financial motives of the criminals who are creating these problems, I want to focus on how Frontier is approaching copper theft in West Virginia…. That is why Frontier has established a toll-free information hotline — 800-590-6605 — to accept calls from citizens who have information about copper theft. “
Uh huh. Riiigggghhhttt……..
No mention of a reward, no discussion of an investigative unit…. Let’s expect limited rural area law enforcement and anonymous ‘good neighbor’ tips to take care of everything.
All aboard, the Namby Pamby express!
If I was a Frontier Communications customer, I might ask a few questions the next time my bill went up…
Sometimes even the BulldogPI wonders if it’s all worth it.
The countless hours…
The reluctance of attorneys to recommend using a PI.
Sometimes I ask myself what drove me to this field. I often find myself on a tightrope without a safety net. Law enforcement doesn’t like private investigators (getting in the way at best, or making them look bad, even worse). We’re often viewed as sneaky thrill seekers, accused of making tremendous profits off other people’s suffering.
The reality is far different.
So why stick with it? There have been many times I have asked myself the same question.
Then again, there are other times… days like today.
Suddenly, in an instant, it all becomes worthwhile.
How can one truly hope to make a difference in such a crazy world?
By tackling one small wrong at a time. I may not turn the economy around, or discover the cure for cancer… that said, every once in a while the role I play matters. The details on just how must remain a secret, but I KNOW I made a difference in someone’s life.
What other field will give me such a sense of accomplishment?
What other people choose (or choose not to) believe is up to them. As for me, I do believe in God: that someday I have a sitdown with the supreme being and we talk about my life. Sooner or later we all are held accountable.
My biggest fear is passing away from old age and being found guilty of living a wasted life.
So, the BulldogPI chooses to struggle on.
I recieved an inquiry from someone at your firm (Vickie?) this morning regarding a process serve in Christiansburg. Although I appreciate inquires and possible business, I was able to read through the lines in regards to the communication that occurred.
Let’s be very clear:
1. Skip-tracing is not process serving. The client is responsible to provide me with the correct address for the recipient. I got the impression that the solidity of the address in question is questionable.
2. In my opinion $65.00 dollars to perform a service of process on someone residing in Christiansburg VA is a pretty reasonable fee. That fee does not include skip-tracing.
(Skip-tracing: The art of locating someone who has relocated, or in essence, has taken other measures to avoid being located.)
3. Like you, I’m a private investigator, and the compliance agent for my firm.
Generally speaking, I don’t like to subcontract for process serving assignments. It typically results in misunderstandings, unverified information, and headaches. Frankly, it’s not worth it.
4. I don’t hold back much. I realize that I come across as strong willed, stubborn, and opinionated. I’m also the most determined, persistent, and ‘hard-core’ investigator/process server in the New River Valley. Please don’t take my word for it, make some inquiries regarding who (and how) I am.
5. This is not a popularity contest. This is a business. Your organization is based in northern Virginia (per the reverse search on the inquiry phone number: 703-xxx-xxxx) I’m confident your firm is reselling services, and making a good profit margin by doing so.
Frankly, it’s quite frustrating to me that Northern Virginia attorneys don’t, generally speaking, have the where-with-all to locate process servers in their areas of need. Instead they enlist the help of process serving clearing houses (which then subcontract, or re-sell, the assignment. What an inefficient and ineffective way to conduct business. Approaching things in this manner muddies the lines of communication, and increases the expense of accomplishing the task at hand to their client.
Everyone wants compensation for their efforts: the law firm, your company, and of course yours truly. Some of us just happen to put more effort in then others.
Best of luck to you and your organization. I respectfully feel it’s in my best interest to decline the assignment as a subcontractor.
In the likely event that the process serve is not completed to your client’s satisfaction, I’m willing to deal with the client directly and pay your organization a 25% referral fee. Other then that arrangement, I’m not interested.
Pollock’s Process Serving
It’s still in ‘research and development,’ but I’ve learned a few things over the years working surveillance based investigations…..
Sometimes the investigator you’re considering hiring just can’t see much from the ground:
Things get in the way.
Hasn’t anyone ever told you?
BulldogPI doesn’t give up easily…
In some cases it might be time for a peek from above.
If you think a different approach might help you:
1. Call in the BulldogPI (540)922-3896
2. Answer the five W’s: (Who, What, Where, When, Why)
Always remember, Bulldog Investigations specializes in finding answers to that elusive question…
BulldogPI has not had the… (ahem) ‘pleasure’ of reading your article in it’s entirety. From the resulting blog entries quoting your comments and the resulting outcry from it’s content, I suspect you threw together a piece of absolute trash.
Virginia Tech certainly has it’s problems (please show me a colleger that doesn’t). The April 16th tragedy, which our community still suffers the effects of, has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the recent murder of Officer Deriek Crouse. There aren’t any similiarities whatsoever between the two crimes, except that in both situations the perpetrator had major issues.
For you to refer to Virginia Tech as cursed, and as ‘a place where bullets fly every couple of years’ goes beyond rude. I would classify your analysis as extremely insensative, and frankly, bordering on disgusting. The next time you decide to ‘enlighten’ your readership, it might be nice if you actually knew a bit about the topic you were rambling about.
What’s wrong with this picture? Well, let’s start with no one bothered to do any websearches on OJ Simpson to see why he might not be home. Then add some speculation as to whether or not people in the bank’s collection department have a clue on what they’re doing.
Next time a debtor owes you over a half million dollars JP Morgan, give the old BulldogPI a call. You’ll find I put a little more effort into tracking someone down then visiting the same residence day after day month on end….
I received your email some time ago. BulldogPI being not particularly good with holiday downtime…
I’ve decided to respond.
According to the Code of Virginia, Tri-Analysis is in violation of the code of Virginia by advertising for private investigation services if they are not licensed to do so. I don’t believe there is some sort of a ‘grandfather clause’ of forgiveness; some sort of exception allowing an organization’s webpage to continue offering investigative services once they are no longer licensed.
I also find it quite a stretch of the imagination to believe that Tri-Analysis Inc, possesses neither the technical ability, nor financial means, to remove a section off their webpage. Quite frankly in my opinion, that’s a bit of an absurd statement for you to make considering the computer forensic services Tri-Analysis offers.
Incidentially, several states require businesses to maintain a private investigation license in order to provide computer forensics services. My understanding is that at one point the Virginia legislature was giving the matter careful consideration.
According to the Code of Virginia § 9.1-138, an “‘private investigator’ means any individual who engages in the business of, or accepts employment to make, investigations to obtain information on (i) crimes or civil wrongs; (ii) the location, disposition, or recovery of stolen property; (iii) the cause of accidents, fires, damages, or injuries to persons or to property; or (iv) evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigative committee.”
Sure sounds to me computer forensics might cross into private investigation territory, particularly if a company assists clients in obtaining court admissible evidence.
Regarding Tri-County’s previous compliance status, I have not researched the matter in enough depth to verify or dispute that claim. Those issues fall under Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services baliwick. The fact remains that your company is not fully compliant with DCJS regulations NOW. At least ‘on paper’, Tri-County still solicits for those services. You have aroused my curiousity somewhat regarding the referrals you make mention of. Hopefully someone verifies the legitimacy of those agencies with DCJS before making said referrals.
James Pollock, BulldogPI
From: Marc Chandler
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 9:03 AM
Subject: Your concern
Mr. Pollock, we are no longer conducting investigations as part of our business. However,in response to your concerns, we were fully compliant with all dcjs regulations when we operating as an investigative firm. We are a data recovery and computer forensics company only now.
We currently do not have the funds to redo the website yet but it is in our plans to do so. Currently if clients call us we refer them to other investigative companies.
Also, we are currently selling our gps tracking unit if you know anyone who is interested.
Please let me if you any other questions or concerns.
> An official complaint has been filed with the Federal Department of commerce
> regarding ICANN.ORG and their handling of the domain name
> Be advised: You are committing a huge disservice in auctioning this domain
> name, pending resolution of the complaint. The winning bidder of the
> auction will be notified accordingly that your company proceeded with the
> auction in full awareness of a dispute being filed regarding ownership of
> the domain name. I suggest you make your legal counsel aware.
> James Pollock
> Bulldog Investigations
> From: “NameJet notifications” <email@example.com>
> Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:00 PM
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: NameJet Notice – Auction Start
>> Dear NameJet Customer (bulldogpi):
>> The following domain name, which you have previously backordered, has been
>> moved to a private auction in which you are now a participant. You may
>> now increase your bid with a proxy bid by logging into your account and
>> visiting the auction page listed below or the “My Auctions” area
>> Domain Name: virginiaprivateinvestigator.com
>> High bid: US $100.00
>> Your maximum bid: $100.00
>> Bidding Status: High Bidder
>> Auction End date: Dec 25 2011 1:16PM Pacific Time
>> Auction page:
>> All times are in Pacific Time. If the above link doesn’t work you may need
>> to copy and paste the whole URL into your browser.
>> Thank you for using our domain name aftermarket services.
>> As this email is not monitored, please visit our support center at
>> http://www.namejet.com/Pages/Support.aspx if you have any questions or to
>> contact us.
>> NameJet Support
If I find a private investigation company or indivdual conducting investigations without a license, I will make an effort to find out what they are working on. Not only will I notify DCJS and local law enforcement, I will also make opposing legal counsel aware of the situation. Evidence obtained by an ‘outlaw PI’ should then be summarily discarded during legal proceedings. One would think attorneys would check an investigation companies credentials prior to using them….
Welcome to reality.
Additionally, it sure would be nice if DCJS would address an exponentially growing problem. Here’s a thought: Concentrate a bit more on keeping the industry legitimate, and a bit less on increasing state revenue through additional licenses. When an illegitmate organization is conducting private security business, they should be shut down and fined,not offered advice and a grace period. If they were shady from the get-go, why would you expect then to run a clean business going forward?
Another real strech of intellect: Why isn’t the State’s Corporation Commission actually verifying the credentials of organizations offering private security services prior to authorizing them to conduct business within the Commonwealth?
If I am mistaken, and one of these companies is indeed licensed, let me know.