Naptown Sleuths: Being a PI in Indianapolis

Naptown Sleuths: Being a PI in Indianapolis

indianapolis indianaIndianapolis, Indiana is home to many impressive things. The city of over 800,000 is most famous throughout the country as home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of the Indianapolis 500. In addition to a rich visual and performing arts culture, it’s also home to the nation’s largest children’s museum. Families across the United States cheer for one of two major sports franchises based in Indianapolis: the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, and the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. It’s also home to one of the country’s best private investigators.

Family-owned and operated for more than 30 years, Lauth Investigations International has specialized in complex corporate, financial, and private investigations worldwide. It is one of many private investigation firms based in Indiana’s capital. Given recent crime data, Indianapolis is a city where a well of clientele may never run dry. One of the areas of criminal investigation most associated with private investigators is missing persons and violent crime, so it’s no a wonder why so many private investigators have set up shop in Indianapolis, with violent crime on the rise.

Relative to its size and population, Indianapolis is comparable to Portland, Oregon or Charlotte, North Carolina. Portland has a crime rate of 227 per every 100,000 people, which is lower than the national average crime rate. North Carolina experiences a higher than average crime rate of 441 per every 100,000 people. As of 2016, Indianapolis’ reported crime rate was 823.2 per every 100,000 people. A CBS News report ranking dangerous cities placed Indianapolis as the 12th in the nation, citing the violent crime rate at more than three times the national average.

News media is saturated with headlines concerning violent crimes committed against Hoosiers, so it was a surprise to most when the FBI reported crime was actually down 10% from 2016 to 2017, especially burglaries and robberies which were down 17%. Violence—especially gun violence—however, is climbing. As of October 1st, 2018, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department had investigated 127 homicides and 109 murders, with 12% of those cases attributed to robbery. The recent murder of Tykece Mike-Jones is a tragic example. He was killed over a cell phone he was attempting to sell to a person he contacted through the internet—another in a string of killings IMPD has been putting on blast to warn citizens. According to the FBI, 2017 was the third record-breaking year for crime statistics in Indianapolis, and stats from the first half of this year have projected 2018 will be no different. Law enforcement attributes the overall drop in crime to the increased ubiquity of surveillance cameras in the metropolitan area.

human traffickingFirms like Lauth Investigations International can assist in many types of criminal investigation. Just as in the case of violent crimes, private investigators combine the skills of law enforcement and the autonomy of a private citizen to conduct concurrent or independent investigations into a person who vanishes under any circumstances. But not all missing persons cases are the result of a person meeting a violent end. As “the crossroads of America,” Indianapolis experiences a moderate to high level of human trafficking. One of the most complex issues in human trafficking is tracking traffickers across multiple jurisdictions as they transport victims from city to city. Law enforcement can often be handcuffed by jurisdictional issues, but private investigators use their autonomy to pole vault over this red tape in pursuit of leads that might otherwise go cold. Due to his experience in complex missing persons investigations, private investigator, Thomas Lauth has worked with Interpol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Consulate and other foreign embassies on a myriad of cases, including human trafficking.

Indianapolis private investigators are not limited to cases of violent crime and missing persons, however. Every major metropolitan area will always have cases dealing with infidelity or child custody, but private investigators based in Indianapolis have ample opportunity to service local businesses with their skill-set. Indianapolis is home to a diversified body of businesses, but its five top industries are:

  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Real estate
  • Rental
  • Leasing

Many business owners—especially small business owners—often are not aware of how a private investigator’s services can protect, or even save, their companies. Every business needs valued employees, and finding the right person can often be an arduous task. The candidate might be qualified, but how much about their record can be independently verified? Hiring a private investigator to do background checks for employees will ensure that any verification of their qualifications will be vetted. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many employers are making independent background checks a regular step of their hiring process in order to weed out potential predators in their workforce. All types of business can experience the full spectrum of employee theft (from vanishing office supplies to full-on embezzlement), violation of non-compete agreements, and offenses under the umbrella of employee malingering, including FMLA abuse. The independent involvement of a private investigator in the investigation of any employee misconduct will lay a strong foundation for any HR or legal consequences, ensuring that the investigation is thorough and objective from beginning to end. Kristen Justis, the Managing Director of Client Relations for Lauth Investigations International, commented on the role Lauth can play in bolstering local business, “We have a wealth of opportunities to help private citizens every day. We help frantic parents find their missing child, or put a spouse’s suspicions of infidelity at ease, but those are the cases that sensationalize this industry. Many business owners are not aware of how the services we offer can go a long way towards extending the longevity of their businesses.”

Every major industry operating in Indianapolis can rely on the services of a private investigator to protect their business—not just from its own workforce, but potential consumers as well. Finance, insurance, and real estate of all kinds can benefit from a comprehensive vetting of a consumer after their request for services. Financial institutions and insurance brokers may check a consumer’s credit, but a full background check on an applicant can sharpen the big picture when making a cost-benefit analysis regarding any transaction. In the housing industry, any landlord renting or leasing their property can be fully informed about their tenants when they employ a private investigator to run a background check. An analysis of Indianapolis’s economy by the Indianapolis Business Journal concluded that the apartment booms the city experienced were driven largely by empty-nesters and childless millennials, projecting that it would only continue to grow.

Indianapolis already has a national economical reputation for developing and sustaining niche markets, such as the market around motorsports and auto-racing. As the metropolis continues to grow in population and economy, so will the opportunities for Indy-based private investigators to support their community.

Carie McMichael is the Communications and Media Specialist for Lauth Investigations International. She regularly writes on missing person and investigation topics. For more information, please visit our website. 

How Human Resources Can Better Screen Employees and Prevent Future Theft

Human Resources has a tough job when it comes to screening future employees. They’re betting on someone whom they’ve only met in person maybe three times. Not every candidate can be a winner, but that doesn’t mean you should accept the losers.

Every business takes on some level of risk when they bring on a new-hire, but how serious is employee theft? The 2015 US Retail Fraud Survey says, “Overall the biggest area of store loss remains employee theft with 38% of respondents citing it as the number one area of store loss and, across first, second and third highest causes of loss, scoring 59 points.” Here are some ways Human Resources can better vet employees and prevent future theft.

Ask tough questions throughout the interview process

Interviewing job candidates is the best chance you’ll get to learn who they are before hiring them. Take advantage of these opportunities to ask candidates tough questions about their past. This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s one many people can find difficult to execute.

People can be surprisingly candid about things they’ve done in the past and may be more open than one would expect. In these moments of truth human resources is given the opportunity to evaluate the honesty of the candidate.

Follow-up with multiple references

There’s a reason every business asks for multiple references when considering candidates for a position. After you’ve interview a candidate face-to-face you’ll have a better idea of who they are and what questions you still have about them. Following up with a candidate’s references can be very illuminating.

Calling just one or two of the references should not be seen as enough. Every candidate should supply at least three references to be considered for employment. These should be professional references, not friends or family. Call at least three references when considering any candidate.

Use a Private Investigations firm to help

Human Resources departments only have so much manpower they can put towards vetting employees. With all of the duties HR handles it increases the chances that someone will slip through the cracks and get hired when they shouldn’t have.

You might not need them for every candidate, but Private Investigation firms can help any business be certain about the people they’re hiring. When businesses are expanding they may need to hire people rapidly. Instead of asking HR to do more with less, contact a private investigations firm and see how they can help shoulder the load.

For Private Investigation Inquiry contact Thomas Lauth, Lauth Investigations 317-951-1100

David Schroeder, Blog Writer, Lauth Investigations International

Vetting Upper Managment: Do’s and Dont’s

Vetting Upper Managment: Do’s and Dont’s



Vetting is a process most often spoken of when it comes to political candidates. A potential candidate can go through extreme forms of background checks and research into anything from family matters to finances.   Because they are backed by political parties and face media scrutiny, this process remains essential and goes unchallenged.

Why then do people of similar position in the private sector often go through the hiring process unchecked?  In 2012 Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was one such case when he was found to have lied about his educational history when he added a dual major for a degree that didn’t exist at his alma mater.  After this information was made public, he was fired, others in charge of hiring forcibly resigned, and thus became a monster headache for the struggling corporation.


Former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson (Source Cnet)

This is just one example in long line of upper management being improperly hired, leading to scandals down the line: impacting the company, the brand, and the bottom line.  In order to avoid such public pratfalls, a thorough vetting process would be wise to implement for the most influential positions of a company.

Proper Vetting Techniques, Facts, and Myths

1. Make sure the right employees are involved in the hiring process.  Especially in large organizations, certain members can do more harm than good.  For instance, in Yahoo’s case board members were heavily involved in major hiring decisions, causing strife with the HR department (aka people who are trained to hire others).  This led to some obviously poor decisions including informal interviews without HR knowledge and/or going through proper vetting channels.

2.  The higher the position, the more detailed and stringent the hiring process should be.  Makes sense right? You’d be surprised at how this can often be reversed.  Some suggested this occurs from not wanted to upset your potential CEO who might find it undignified. An HR exec at Pepsi-Co Suggests that the “more senior you are, the more its about relationships and less about filling out an application.”  Whatever the case may be, this backwards thinking has lead to many a company’s PR department having endless migraines.

3. Vetting process isn’t just for the companies benefit.  Being properly vetted helps the potential hire and not only through avoiding embarrassing public scrutiny.  By having certain exaggerations or falsities come up through vetting, it allows the candidate the chance to correct the error and move on before it can scar them for life.

4. Utilizing a third party for this process can avoid in-house biases.  Hiring objective, experienced investigators can produce the best results without leaving hiring or HR department of the company in compromised positions.  However, said department should still work closely with the investigators in order to receive the necessary information.

5.  Trying to understand the candidates psychology.  Just because they passed a background check and have the necessary credentials doesn’t mean they should become the face for your organization.  Trying to suss out cases of candidates too consumed with power or narcissism can be tricky, but there are options available.  Going beyond a person’s references can stem from asking a reference particular questions or interviewing the potential hires previous employee underlings.  Taking the time to go through such measures can help determine if he/she would be proper fit for your company.

6. Not just CEOs.  Vetting techniques can and should be used for candidates of many industries.  From the coach of professional sports organizations to higher ups in various form of academia, if you can be hired in a position of power, then the organization should take the time and due diligence to make sure you won’t come back to haunt them.

(Source HRonline)