‘I’m too old for this’ Kit thought. He wasn’t that old at all, but certainly older than the young kids bopping around in the dimly lit nightclub. Kit had never enjoyed nightclubbing anyway, but this was different. This was a case.

It had started with some parents wanting to know what their daughter was up to. She was their only child and they had given her everything. They lived in an expensive part of town, had a stable family home, and the daughter had wanted for nothing.

All Kit Bradley stories are adapted from real P.I. cases, to show you the many ways a private investigator can help. Some details have been changed to protect privacy.

But now she was disappearing every evening around 6pm with her boyfriend, not to come home until around 2pm the next day. They had no idea what she was doing, and their relationship had broken down to such an extent that she wouldn’t really talk to them. They wondered if she was doing drugs, street-walking, involved in criminal activity, something else? All sorts of concerns crossed their mind.

Could Kit help? Well, yes, he definitely could. Surveillance is the bread and butter of a private investigator’s career. But it would be expensive. Especially with her pattern of behaviour. It would need at least two agents on her at all times, and the parents wanted 24hr surveillance for three days. The parents hardly blinked at the estimated fee. When could Kit start?

A couple of days later Kit was in his car watching the address. Sure enough, around 6pm the boyfriend rolls up to collect her. A short drive into town and then they were on foot heading for a dining street. Kit’s surveillance partner quickly jumped out of the passenger’s side to follow them on foot, while Kit found a parking spot. This is why anything other than a very simple surveillance job requires at least two agents. You can lose sight of the subject in an instant. While you’re looking for a parking space, if you miss a green light, or even if they turn a corner. Especially in a busy city like Auckland.

Parking spot found, Kit was back on station. You never know where the subject will go, so it always pays to dress for anything. Something that can fit in almost anywhere. Kit was well prepared, as was his partner.

The girl and her boyfriend headed for an upmarket restaurant and took a seat at a large table. There were already a dozen or so others there, and before long, course after course got brought out to the table. Luckily Kit had found a good surveillance spot in a café across the road that looked right into the dining area. He could keep an eye on everything, while not even being in the same building.

A few hours later the couple exited and some of their friends went their separate ways. The rest of them went to a small intimate bar down the road for some drinks. Kit had already watched the girl consume three drinks at the restaurant, he wondered what he’d see here. They couldn’t see into the bar, so Kit’s partner managed to get a corner booth quite a way behind them. Kit stayed outside. They’d need to be careful to not be seen in any place twice, ideally to not be seen at all. So far so good.

A couple of drinks each later and they were on the street again. The girl still looked like she was full of energy and ready to party. And that’s exactly what they did, heading for a well known nightclub a couple of blocks over. Kit’s turn to go in this time. The nightclub had a number of mirrors around the place so Kit was able to sit with his back to the group yet keep an eye on them in the opposite mirror.

The girl was dancing and drinking, and by the end of the night more drinking than dancing. She didn’t look good at all. Her friends slowly left in ones and twos until a few hours later it was just the girl and her boyfriend. There was no more dancing, but there was a lot of crying, with the boyfriend comforting her. Kit couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.

At around 4am they decided to walk back to the car. The boyfriend supporting her and the girl making a number of stops to empty the many drinks she had consumed into the gutter. Not a pretty sight, but the private investigator is there to report on everything they see. And the girl just looked incredibly sad.

Kit’s partner already had the car ready, and they followed them back to the boyfriends house in a different part of town. Kit handed over to a different surveillance team who took the next twelve hours.

A few hours of sleep for Kit, before he was up and about writing his surveillance report on the night’s activities. He was also due to go back on surveillance that night again. Once he was back on station that evening, it was an exact repeat of the night before. Boyfriend, restaurant, lots of drinking, some dancing, the sad walk back to the car. And the third night again. It looked like she did this every single night.

Some people might enjoy her lifestyle for a while. But in the end, she was just a sad lonely girl with no real purpose in life.

The good news is Kit could report to the parents that there was no evidence of drugs or any other illegal or questionable activities, aside from the heavy drinking. But she certainly wasn’t enjoying her life. He suggested that the parents consider getting some professional counselling for their daughter, and for their relationship with her. Something needed to change for all of them. That wasn’t Kit’s job though, his job was to report the facts.

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