1st installment of POLICE & P.I. STORIES – Tale of the Two Arm Braces

Tale of the Two Arm Braces – Metro Detroit, Michigan

“I need you guys to get some surveillance on this deadbeat dad for me” is how the conversation started. One of the attorneys we work for had a client who needed to prove her ex / father of her kids was a liar and that he was able to provide some financial support for their child in common. This man, we will call Billy, actually went to court with an arm brace on each arm and told the judge he was unable to work and currently seeking disability.

As we began surveillance, we found that he lived right on a busy major road. He was next door to a Wendy’s and across from several local businesses, making surveillance a cinch since we could blend right in with customers. So we set up shop joking about how easy this case was going to be. Wouldn’t you know it, on the very first day, we waited all day long for nothing. We were dripping sweat in the heat but Billy never left. He only came outside for smoke breaks and he didn’t do anything physical or go to a job.

As you can imagine our thoughts quickly began churning out “what if’s”! What if he really is injured? That would suck for our client. What if he is on to us? That would suck for us and our client. What if he is faking but he just never goes anywhere? What if he isn’t faking and we just never get a shot? The thoughts continued bouncing around all afternoon as we took picture after picture of smoke breaks. Eventually we left dejected and devoid of evidence for our client or her attorney.

A couple days later we tried again. This time we observed some let’s just say cleanliness-challenged adults going in and out of the house, hanging out on the porch and of course smoking. After an afternoon of drying out my eye-balls watching every last minute of this latest episode of the new reality series across the street, all we had to show was a couple pics of new characters. There was still no evidence to prove Billy was working or faking his injuries.

So a week later I was passing down the same busy street as I was coming home from a court appearance in Detroit when I drove past the house. I almost locked up my brakes on the car when I passed his house. Billy the faker was outside shoveling in his yard! No arm braces. No difficulties.

I whipped around and parked across the street just in time for episode 3 in “Tale of the Two Arm Braces”. I got out of my video camera and started shooting. IT WAS GOLD! On this day and subsequent days he was caught digging holes, carrying bricks, carrying large TV’s on his shoulder, working a fork lift, working at Greek Town Casinos, working at a recycling center and more.

He was also caught in several lies he told the court. He had told them he lived alone, never left the kids with anyone and abided by the law. Yet we counted a total of 3 adult females, 1 adult female and 1 child living at the house. In addition, one of the males appeared to be a sex offender, there was an illegal marijuana grow at the house and he left his child alone in the house with these other people on a few occasions.

I hear from the attorney that the look on Billy’s face was priceless when he lied in court, again, about all the things we found and then they showed him the pictures and video and he exploded. Moral of the story……sometimes it pays to be patient and stick with it….and…if there is something to find, we will get it for you.