Take a sneak peek inside the case files of Guy Streeter from Timberline Investigations, one of the Gold Coast’s most in demand private investigators
CASE 1: Cheating
We were approached by Scott with the possibility that his new wife, Emilia, had been having extra martial affairs with someone she worked with. Scott had accidently stumbled across his wife’s vehicle parked near a hotel on the Gold Coast while he was making a delivery to a nearby cafe. He texted his wife and, after an hour or so, she replied saying she was at the cafe with a girlfriend — the same cafe he had just made a delivery to.
The following week Scott found his wife’s vehicle again parked near the same location, he texted his wife again and got the same explanation after an hour or so. Our instructions were to find out who Scott’s wife was meeting and where she was going when she was meant to be at work.
Surveillance started from their house, we followed the target (Emilia) from home to work where she remained for an hour or so before getting out on the road and starting to do some work–related appointments nearby. Eventually, she drove to the location Scott had found her vehicle parked at previously. Emilia then met with a male that had been seen at her work office at the start of the morning. They grabbed a coffee together and we obtained some evidence of her being very affectionate with the male, who turned out to be her boss. They then walked a short distance holding hands to a nearby hotel. We were able to get video evidence of Emilia with her boss entering a hotel room. We then got further video evidence of Emilia departing the hotel and kissing her boss before heading back to her vehicle and returning to work.
It is always a difficult task to present the evidence to a client. Most have their suspicions about what is going on, but, you have the feeling that deep down they are hoping there’s a completely innocent explanation or they’re just paranoid. In this case, Scott had suspected this for some time and just needed confirmation and evidence to confront her with — especially as something similar had happened a couple of years prior. Scott was happy with the quick outcome and how much evidence we were able to gather. He eventually broke up with his wife after presenting her with the video evidence which she couldn’t argue with or wriggle out of.
CASE 2: Child Custody
Susan had two young children to a man she had been separated from for about a year. She had the children every second weekend and when the children came back to her house, they often had bruises and injuries they couldn’t explain. The children would say to Susan that they didn’t see their dad all weekend and someone else was caring for them while he was “away”. Susan also had questions as to the kind of people that were visiting the house and what they might be up to while the children were there.
The investigations were to be surrounding the two and a half days the children were in their father’s custody. We conducted surveillance on the residence and found out how long the children’s father was present at the house, who visited during that time and what activities were going on at the house that we could see.
During the first weekend’s surveillance, we found the children’s father was only present for the first three hours the children were in his care. He departed, leaving the children in the care of a teenage girl who appeared to be the father’s new girlfriend’s daughter. The children’s father left with his new girlfriend at around 3pm in the afternoon and didn’t return home until 8pm in a taxi with several other people. We continued surveillance that evening until 11:30pm, during that time loud music was played and neighbours came and joined in the party.
The following day the children were observed walking to the local shops in the care of the teenage daughter and returned shortly after. The children’s father was picked up by a friend in a van, they returned four hours later in the van with a motorcycle in the back of it. They unloaded the motorcycle and put it in the garage. The children’s father then left again in the van and didn’t return until late in the afternoon with his vehicle. Later in the evening, the children’s father departed again with his girlfriend, leaving his children in the care of the teenage daughter.
The investigation continued three weekends over the next eight weeks with similar outcomes during the surveillance. The surveillance concluded that the children’s father was spending very little time with his children. When they were in his custody he was not looking after them and the activities going on at the house were not what the children’s mother found acceptable. The bruises and injuries the children were coming home to the mother with didn’t appear to be from abuse but rather unsafe activities they were getting up to when not in the care of their father. Several climbing accidents were observed in the front yard, as well as falling from bicycles and scooters without helmets.
The outcome was favourable to Susan. The evidence was presented to court and, on the facts that the children’s father was frequently not present during his “custody” of the children, along with several other reasons, our client was awarded full custody of the children. Susan was over the moon with the outcome and that led to a more stable future for the children to grow up in.
CASE 3: Gambling addiction
Katie approached us with a hunch that her partner, Ben, had been spending a significant amount of money at the casino and at the local pub putting money through the pokies. This money was part of an inheritance and it was in a bank account that wasn’t looked at very often. Suddenly, the bank statements were not showing up for this account. Ben was starting to spend more and more time at the clubs or “out with friends” but Katie suspected they were using money from the inheritance to fund their gambling habit. Katie wanted us to try and work out how much money he was taking out at the ATM and how much was spent on gambling vs drinking with mates.
Our client had a fair idea of where the target would start his evening, which was at the local pub. We started surveillance at the local pub and found the target met up with a couple of mates and had a few drinks. He then separated from them after a few hours and started playing the pokies. We were able find out Ben took out about $500 initially from the ATM and proceeded to play to machines next to each other simultaneously until that money ran out. Ben then departed from the pub and travelled by Uber to the casino and removed another $500 or more and began playing the pokies again.
Ben was fairly lucky on this occasion and had a win of over $2,000. He took that money and put it in one pocket but went and withdrew more money and began playing black jack. At the end of the night, Ben had taken out about $1,500 and had told our client he was with friends at a mate’s house after being at the pub. We had evidence that suggested otherwise.
The investigation continued for several evenings and afternoons over the next two weeks. We accumulated a lot of evidence of Ben taking significant amounts of money out of the ATM that couldn’t be accounted for on Katie and his personal accounts. So, Ben was taking money out from an unknown account (most likely the account which the inheritance was in, and Katie was unable to see the monthly account statements as they were going missing).
With the evidence that we had gathered, Katie was able to confront her partner and show that he had a problem with gambling and possible drug use. They were able to seek help for his gambling addiction. It was astounding how much money Ben had spent in a short period of time. The next month, the account statements started turning up again.