STALKING THE STALKERS

He’d come back. As he had for the past couple of nights. Silent, watching her silhouette through the curtains as she picked up the phone.

StalkerAre you there?’ she said.

‘Yes’, I replied. ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere’.

Little did he know the innocuous vehicle parked on the corner was a covert camera platform. I zoomed in on his face, his identity captured on the digital video recorder. Out of sight, I completed the surveillance log from the comfort of the back seat.

He continued to stand on the corner staring at her lit bedroom window. He thought there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. He thought he was the one with the power. He didn’t know, I watched him watching her, stalking the stalker.

Our client wasn’t actually in her bedroom. The woman he saw behind the blinds was a decoy recruited for her uncanny likeness to Anna. The decoy was there to lure him out for a clear photograph while Anna waited in a back room of the house.

Anna was a young, thirty-something professional mother. She married Gregg in a grand church ceremony eight years ago. Soon after they married, he became obsessive, jealous and controlling. Violence soon followed and Anna left him. One of our client Solicitors we worked for on regular occasions referred Ana to us. The Solicitors handled her divorce and asked us to serve the various documents. The divorce turned acrimonious. Gregg couldn’t accept it was over. Gregg began by calling and texting her on the pretence of wanting to discuss their children. Anna noticed his car near the school one day. She feared he might snatch the children, kidnap them to take them abroad. Anna’s new boyfriend had the tyres slashed on his car outside her house. Anna knew it was her ex but couldn’t prove it and the police could do nothing without evidence.

Anna’s solicitors obtained a Non-Molestation Order which ordered him not to stalk her. Greg ran the risk of arrest without warrant and possible imprisonment. But allegations were not enough and evidence was hard to come by.

Gregg was a particular type of stalker, a rejected stalker. Rejected stalkers pursued their victims to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection. It was possible a rejected stalker could turn into a predatory stalker. This was a stalker who spied on the victim to prepare and plan an attack, usually sexual on the victim.

We deployed a GPS tracking device on Gregg’s car to track his movements. If he entered a predefined area, then the Geo-Fence system alerted our investigators. We would then swing our well-oiled plan into action.

My colleague called me when the stalker entered the 3-mile perimeter on the Geo-Fence. Our surveillance vehicle was already in place to record the evidence.

FeetMy car drifted into place about 500 meters behind the stalker.

‘Tango 1 to Tango 2,’ I whispered on the radio, ‘on plot and have clear view of target.’

I had arrived about ten minutes after the stalker. I knew the surveillance vehicle also had a good view of him. My colleague operated the PTZ camera via her laptop from inside Anna’s house.

This was now the second time we had seen the stalker breach the Court Order. I made the decision to call the police.

‘Tango 3 to Tango 1, police en-route to you, ETA 30 seconds – no silent approach—blues & twos’. It had been 15 minutes since Anne called the police. My third colleague sat at the half mile boundary. He was telling me the police had just passed him at speed with their lights and siren shattering the night silence. Hopefully, they would switch them off before turning into Anna’s street.

That was an impressive response from them, I thought. They might even arrest him on site. I observed as the stalker turned his car ignition on but it was too late. The police were on him and had blocked his escape from the cul-de-sac. They did a stop and search on him. Two more squad cars arrived. One of the Police Officers knocked on the door. My colleague handed him a copy of the Court Order complete with the Power of Arrest and with that in hand, they took him away.

Tango 2 remained with Ana until the police were no longer needed at the scene. I exited my car to stretch my legs and joined Tango 3 for a quick debrief. We both proceeded to the police station and submitted our statements.

I went home while Tango 3 went to deploy a tracking device on the car of a man suspected of cheating on his wife.

Stalking the Stalker is a based on a true story from the Salgado Investigations case files. The names have been changed to protect Anna and her children.