Protecting Yourself From Dodgy Babysitters Tradesmen:
We were recently tasked with looking into a suspected case of a dodgy babysitter-turned-nanny. Natalie Djokova, a Russian national attempting to make her way in Australia through a student visa (another issue that we won’t go into for the moment, but nonetheless something that Australia’s border control might want to think about tightening up a little bit) was employed on a casual basis by Henry and his wife, Jane, to look after their two children whenever they wanted to enjoy a little peace and quiet – the usual babysitter shebang.
After a few months, they got to know Natalie pretty well and so when Jane’s work started to become a little more time-consuming, the pair decided that it would be worth their while to take Natalie on full-time, as a live-in nanny. Their children are pretty young, so it makes sense that they could use a helping hand around the house, considering both were nearly always working late or pulling early mornings; so Natalie’s help, particularly for the school runs, was very much appreciated.
Now, at first when Henry lost the occasional one or two dollar coins, he turned a blind eye, blaming it on carelessness mainly, but when Jane started to notice that her expensive perfumes were also seeming to “evaporate” a little faster than usual, they decided it was time to have a word with Natalie, to put their minds at ease. Natalie claimed that whenever she found loose change around the house, seldom as it was, she would put it in the key box at the house’s main entrance, and the perfumes? Well, apparently when she was dusting the room she would put the bottles to one side, some of which would fall over occasionally and a little would “seep out.”
Regardless of the excuses, Henry and Jane felt that the talk alone would make Natalie aware of the fact that they were vigilant, so as to make any future “accidents” or “losses” potentially less frequent.
On the contrary however, just a few weeks later when Jane was preparing for a Gala dinner with her colleagues, she noticed that a pair of her gold earrings had gone missing. She immediately asked Natalie if she’d seen them, which she denied. A bit distraught at the fact that they had simply “vanished,” Henry reassured her that Natalie wouldn’t do something so malicious, especially after the talk they had just a short while before.
After a good six months on the Job, and “studying” when she could, Jane noticed that Natalie had a new Michael Korrs purse, an accessory that isn’t by any means cheap. Henry and Jane were kind to Natalie in that they gave her a free bed and board in their home with a small salary to help her get by, but it was suspicious that after her frivolous Friday nights and the occasional Top Shop spending spree, that Natalie would be able to afford the purse. So, Jane just had to ask… and apparently a “love interest” of sorts bought the item for her to win her heart. They both laughed it off and moved on.
Yet just a few months later, when Henry was coming home from work, he noticed Natalie through his bedroom window and, upon entering the home, saw her make a beeline for her room. At first, he simply thought she was tidying, until the rapid manoeuvre. Intrigued, he went in and enquired as to what she had been doing in his room, her answer being that she’d left her phone there earlier and noticed it was dying, so she ran to plug it in before it was completely dead. Seemingly true to her word, there her phone was, plugged in by her bedside table. He apologised for seeming abrupt and explained how the situation looked a bit odd.
Nevertheless, three months later, Natalie was now sporting a brand new Thomas Sabo bracelet… another trinket that isn’t exactly inexpensive.
Neither Henry or Jane were really as vigilant as they’d made out, and weren’t careful enough with their belongings to keep a detailed record of where things in the house were and, unfortunately, being a little on the untidy side, often misplaced things before forgetting about them… or seeming to at least.
It wasn’t until Henry needed to download some data from one of his older iPhone handsets that he’d stored away, that he noticed it was missing. It had been some time since he’d seen it, but he was almost 100% sure it was in a certain drawer in his study, yet when he looked there, the iPhone was the only one of his many old phones that was gone.
The information he needed was important as the phone was his only record of an ex-client’s contact information and now he was stuck.
When Jane got home later that evening, the two had a private chat and decided that it might be worth their while investing in a little surveillance. And that’s where we come in.
The couple asked us what their options were, considering they weren’t looking for the services of an operative, per say, but we were able to give them a quote on setting up a number of hidden cameras around the property, the footage of which would reveal what was really going on in the house.
The next time Natalie ventured out for her studies, one of our specialists stepped in and installed six cameras for Henry and Jane; one in each of the children’s rooms, one in the living room, one in the kitchen and two in the main bedroom.
Within just a few days, our systems were able to capture some horrifying footage – not only was Natalie caught going through both Henry’s and Jane’s personal belongings, but she was found to have taken a number of relatively expensive toys from the children’s rooms before putting them in postal boxes and shipping them off! Worse yet, they managed to capture Natalie paying very little regard to their children when they seemed to crave some attention – she dismissed their pleas to play, preferring to watch television and socialise on her phone instead.
We later discovered that Natalie had set up an eBay account, where she uploaded photos of the goods she stole from Henry, Jane and their children and sold them for pure profit to the lowest bidder.
Now the moral of this story is that this isn’t the first time babysitters or au pairs have stolen from their employers, let alone plumbers, electricians or pretty much any tradesman that might grab something, given the opportunity when your back’s turned. But there’s good news… You don’t have to go as far as Henry and Jane did in employing private investigators or surveillance specialists to assist with matters like this in the home.
Instead, we highly recommend that you invest in a low-cost, long-lasting solution that you can use whenever the need may arise. It’ll save you money, time and load of trouble down the line.
Just invest in one mini surveillance camera that you can hide anywhere in the house! Put it where you’re expecting those tradies to work next, or wherever you think prying eyes and hands might enjoy a wonder when your back’s turned. Now, some can be quite expensive, but below you’ll find links to out top three picks:
One of our favourites: The Dummy car keyfob camera:
It looks like the keyring you’d use to deactivate your car alarm, or an older one anyway so it would make sense that it’s lying around the house. This little gizmo’s not all that expensive, relatively speaking, especially considering it’s capabilities: Full HD, Motion Detection, still photographs…it does the lot. Yep, it even has night vision! Check it out here:
This one is another great little item, but only because it looks so very innocent. It’s designed to look exactly like a standard AC/DC power plug, the kind you’d use to charge any old generic electric gadget. It’s also got a rechargeable battery, which means that you don’t even have to plug it in to get your footage – just charge it up and leave it somewhere you’d like it to do its job. More about this hidden camera here:
We’ve got a few of these:
Ok, while it may seem like a wearable camera, which it is, because you can put it though a button hole and screw a fake button on the lens (very handy for when you’re out and about), but more importantly, this guy is so small that you can put it nearly anywhere; in between the flowers on the counter; underneath your TV screen; amongst your kids’ teddy bears; on the window sill; at the back of a cupboard; and the list goes on. Being a “Lawmate” product, it’s also very high quality so it’ll be around for a while. See more about this button cam here:
With all of that being said, sometimes hiring a professional is just the way to go. If you’re in fear of being caught, and facing the consequences of your actions, then employing a discrete, cost-effective and highly successful private investigator, or team thereof, to assist you is really not a bad idea. Particularly if what you’re trying to uncover involves your work, loved ones, family members or even a group of people of any sort that you don’t want to deal with directly. We can help you gather evidence that’s admissible in court and, moreover, we can utilise skillsets and knowledge that the layman wouldn’t stop to think about.
So, if you’re in need of some professional assistance or even a little guidance on a matter you’re facing at home, at work or when you’re out and about:
Call Precise Investigation today on 1300 856 011 for a discrete, professional private investigation service.
Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and even the more remote areas of the country are all within our reach – we have offices and operatives stationed in each, with the potential to travel great distances to get to the bottom of your troubles, regardless of where you are. So, if in doubt, get in touch with us today and see what we can do for you.
Please note: All names, locations and personal details of the people and places described in this article have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
Image credit: Thank you Wikipedia