Skip Trace Overview
Skip Tracing involves an investigator using tracking skills and techniques to locate individuals who are actively avoiding being found. The targets of a skip trace are typically people who have skipped bond, disappeared after incurring financial debt, or are otherwise fleeing and/or evading detection. After tracking down the subject of the Skip Trace, a Private Investigator can assist in returning them to justice and securing the return of assets or valuables that they may be responsible for taking.
When criminal defendants fail to appear in court it creates a costly burden on everyone involved. Courts can force the bondman to forfeit money to compensate for their inability to ensure their client appears in court. This not only can hurt a bonding company financially, but compromise their reputation within the criminal justice system and put their status with the state in jeopardy. Family and friends who have put up money and assets to secure a defendant’s pre-trial release also feel the effects when someone jumps bail. These parties stand to lose cars, homes, and other valuable items bondsmen have secured as collateral.
Skip Trace operations can be approached in several different ways. While each investigator may handle things differently, there are several main components that may factor into tracking down a “skip.” Several of these are listed below.
Finding a person on the lamb means knowing everything there is to know about them and the people that may provide them refuge. The first step many private investigators take is to research and compile information related to suspects, persons of interest, associates, habits, movements and possible locations of the target and/or individuals believed to have information pertaining to the subject’s whereabouts. (Learn More about Background Reports and Investigations)
Witness Locate and Interview
Once associates and those who may be aiding and embedding the suspect are identified, an investigator works to track and interview these individuals to determine what information they can provide that would be helpful in locating the target. Recordings of the interviews are produced for later reference and as a way of providing documentation of the operation. (Learn More about Person Locates and Interviews)
A private investigator conducts covert surveillance to follow up on leads, verify information provided by witnesses, and uncover new information related to the whereabouts of the person who has skipped. The investigator utilizes audio, video, and still photography to objectively document their findings. (Learn More about Surveillance)