Black Cat Security Investigations offers private investigations as well as home security and business security audits for residents and businesses throughout the Northern Virginia area.
We asked Ed Gatti, Owner of Black Cat Security Investigations, to tell us how Black Cat Security Investigations helps Northern Virginia residents and business owners with their private investigation and home or business security needs. You can read what Ed told us below, or listen to our recorded interview with Ed.
Black Cat Security Investigations opened for business in Northern Virginia in August, 2018. The company focuses on providing two kinds of security services: Home and Business Security Audits and a full range of Private Investigation Services.Ed’s experience includes positions as a correctional officer and as a part-time sheriff in New England. He has also owned and operated a martial arts school, and gained additional private investigative experience working for a security company based in Richmond, Virginia prior to moving to Northern Virginia.
“I have always enjoyed helping people and I felt I could improve on what other companies were doing. I decided to open my own private investigation business so I can do it the way I felt it should be done,” Ed told us. “We do things a little bit differently from other private security firms in our area and we hope to do better than everyone else.”
“One thing we do differently is to keep our billable costs in check. We don’t bill for every photocopy, mileage, and expenses that can be associated with running an investigation. We don’t charge clients for our own lunches during the course of an investigation. We offer a fixed rate for an agreed-upon specified level of service, such as the number of background checks and license plates we will run and the expected number of surveillance hours for any given assignment. We also don’t charge extra if surveillance hours exceed the contracted time by a little say 15-30 minutes.”
“We want to make our services affordable for our clients, and we don’t nickel and dime our clients for every aspect of our service.”
“Once our retainer runs out, if the client is satisfied with what we have produced, we close the case, but if the client wants us to invest more hours and time, then we arrange for an additional retainer fee.”
Home and Business Security Audits
“We offer security audits for both homeowners and businesses. We have found that most companies today are focused on securing their computer systems to protect themselves against hackers. However, these same companies are neglecting to pay attention to their physical security. Their vulnerability is that anyone could walk right into their server room and access their terminals directly because they are not physically secured. So this is an area where we can help companies protect themselves.”
“I will evaluate whether it is easy to walk into a building without being stopped, often by displaying badges or name tags company employees have the impression that you belong there, making it easy for anyone to walk around a building or facility freely without raising suspicion or being questioned.”
“We also offer home security audits that use what I call an ‘onion approach’. I look at whether you are using the same routes every day when you come home, what is your personal security as you go about your daily activities outside of your home. We also look at your actual home as you pull into your driveway. Are your floodlights set correctly? Are your personal home security systems working properly?
“It usually takes about an hour to audit an average size home. If you have a security system we show you the flaws in that security system that would let someone bypass it. We don’t sell or offer any actual security products. We are not in the business of selling products. We show weaknesses, offer solutions and leave it up to the homeowner to decide how much money they want to invest in a home security system.”
“One tip I usually offer during a home security audit is to think about where a home fire usually starts. Home fires usually start in the kitchen or on the main level of the home – but most people don’t have fire extinguishers upstairs in their bedrooms where they would be needed if a home fire broke out at night. That’s why I always recommend keeping a fire extinguisher in each bedroom.”
“We review different scenarios with our home security clients and ask how they would deal with that situation. So it is very much information gathering for the homeowner or the renter so they can better secure their home and their loved ones.”
Missing Child, Cheating Spouse and Other Private Investigations
“In terms of private investigation for individuals, we offer cheating spouse investigations as well as background checks and missing child investigations, to locate a missing child and get them back home to you.”
“We worked a missing child case with a fantastic family with two daughters where the younger daughter got mixed up with the wrong crowd and was constantly running away. Over the course of a week I spent working with that family we located the daughter three times and brought her back 3 times until it got to the point where the parents realized that every time I brought her back she would just keep running away. So we sat down and discussed the options. Eventually the daughter was placed in a facility where she could get the help she needed. I still keep in touch with the family and the daughter is doing fantastic now, and has a fantastic relationship with her family now.”
“There is nothing better than ringing the doorbell at a client’s home and returning their child to them, unharmed.”
“I’ve investigated shootings where the family wanted to make sure that the person /agency that shot their family member was following proper protocol and had a legitimate reason to shoot that individual.”
Insurance Fraud Investigations
“We also work with insurance companies to investigate insurance fraud. For example, if a worker files a workers’ compensation claim that they are unable to work, we can investigate to see if the employee is seen mowing his or her lawn or skiing or performing other activities that indicate they are capable of working.”
“I had another case where an elderly gentleman was homebound and required round the clock 24/7 in-home care. It turned out that the people who claimed they were working those hours were running chores and leaving this gentleman at home unattended, then turning around and billing the client and the insurance companies for time they weren’t actually spending caring for this gentleman. So I was able to provide video footage for this gentleman’s family proving that their suspicions were correct and they were being billed for services that weren’t being performed. That was very satisfying.”
“Any time anyone is committing insurance fraud, it means that everyone’s insurance rates keep getting higher and higher. It’s a good feeling to know that I stopped at least one person from causing my insurance rates to go up.”
Employee Theft Investigations
“We can also investigate whether employee theft is going on. We have worked under cover in businesses where they said we need you in our shipping department because a lot of things are going missing in our shipping department and we want to know what is going on. So the company will hire me to work like a regular employee to identify where the loss is occurring.”
“In cases of embezzlement investigations, we would work with a forensic accountant who is better equipped to investigate the company’s books and determine how the embezzling is happening.”
How to Contact Black Cat Security Investigations
If you or someone you know is in need of private investigative services, you can contact Ed Gatti at Black Cat Security Investigations through their website: BlackCatSi.com or by phone at (571) 572-1888.