|Posted by Johnny Joe James on October 18, 2011 at 1:15 AM|
As this particular page is designated for safety tips, I still felt that this story should be posted, so much so, that this piece is the reason that I have changed the name of the page to "Safety tips and Stories". In a way, it still deals with a safety issue. The safety that I am talking about is the need to feel safe not only in your own backyard, but with the people around you as well. As you read this story, you will understand that even your closest friends can sometimes not be trusted, and you are constantly looking over your shoulder wondering who is behind you. The only thing to remember though is that safety tips and concerns are found in all aspects of life. This is a true story....
About a month ago (September 2011) I got a call from a man who said he had found my name through the FRN (Fugitive Recovery Network) and was wanting information about becoming a bounty hunter. Through this story I will refer to this man as "VT". As I talked to VT, I was told that he lived in another state other than Oklahoma, and I informed him that as I would be willing to give him the basics of what is entailed, he must look at his states requirements for the licensing, or any and all other certifications.
As we talked, I noticed as I answered specific questions about my line of work, he would get stumbled and say "there's just no getting away from you". I would tell him "No", as I am very professional and do my job to it's fullest degree. We talked some more and I noticed in his speech that certain "flags" were popping up. At the end of our conversation, I told him that I would be happy to answer his questions and get him on the right track, but I wanted his name so that I could remember who he was as I get several calls a week about the same thing. VT gave me the name of "Mike Maravelli" and stated that he was from San Francisco.
After the conversation, I went back to my office and ran the name and location. Not Surprisingly, the name did not exist.
About a week and a half later VT called me again. Since I was familiar with the way that he talked, and the line of questioning that I was given about the fugitive recovery business, I knew who it was and played along to see what other "flags" could pop up. As VT asked specific questions on how I transport subjects to justice, I told him all of the procedures that I follow to insure that the subject is not only unable to get away once captured, but also how I make sure that the subject doesn't feel unjustly treated.
Once again, as the conversation continued, VT would say "there's just no getting away from you".
The following week, VT called once again. It was in the evening here and I was at home, working on the company webpage. I spoke with him in greater detail this time as I had several "flags" from our previous conversations. His questions were far more detailed and his line of questioning had switched some from fugitive recovery and fell into private investigations, more or less.
As we talked, he asked about basic skip tracing. I told him that I was pretty good at it and would be more than happy to show him that I can do a simple check and locate him. Since I had him on the phone with me, I asked him for his real name and I would use the cellphone number that he was calling me from. I then told him that I knew that he had given me a fake name before from our first conversation and that since we had a rapport with each other, it was time to be honest. VT gave me his name and since I already had the cell number I ran them only to find another "flag". The name that he was giving me was that of a female, and I knew positively that I was talking to a man.
Without VT knowing, I went on to run a check on the number and located it in Northern California instead of the San Francisco area that he had claimed in the first phone call.
VT was silent for a moment. After a minute he said "I didn't think that you could find something that fast!". I gave him the town and the address of the phone number listing. VT was still quite silent and then said again "there's just no getting away from you". After the last time he said this, I asked him how long he had been on the run. VT told me that he had been on the run for about five months now. I asked him to give me his bail bondsman's information and that I would assist him in coming back to Oklahoma and be brought to justice.
VT then stated to me that his crime wasn't in Oklahoma. I asked him what state his crime was out of, and he replied "Missouri".
I could tell that through the conversations that we had that he was looking for answers, and that the best way to get the answers he was looking for was to keep talking to me. I'm all for getting the bad guys off of the street, but this particular instance was very different. Usually how things go for bounty hunters is either we go to the bondsman for the job, or the bondsman will come to us. This was the fugitive coming to me!
As we talked, I was able to keep VT calm about what would happen when he gave me his bondsman's information. He then talked about running and I told him that should he run, he would always be looking over his shoulder. I told him that no matter what, me or another hunter would be on his tail should he run either to another town or another state, and that was no way to live a life. After about an hour or so of talking, he told me that he would give me the name of the bondsman but he needed a few minutes to locate the paperwork. I told him that was fine but he needed to locate it quickly so that I could get the ball rolling on the Missouri side of this case.
Shortly after this phone conversation I started to get text messages from VT saying that he WASN'T going to be put in my chains and cuffs as he would just run from me and my team members. I wasn't inclined to play this game and simply told him that no matter what, as long as I had the authority to do so, I would be coming to bring him to justice. He then called me back and his tone came back to what it had been in the previous conversation. I told VT that there is a lot better life in store for him by just coming back to justice and just do the time that he was ordered.
He began to ask again on how he would be treated by me and my team once he was in my custody. I told him that he would be treated with dignity and that he wouldn't feel unjustly treated. I continued to let him know that this would be the best course of action and after his time was up, he could lead a normal life not having to constantly look over his shoulder. VT would ask me about the vehicle that would be used, the cuffs, the leg irons, the belly chains, and every other thing that would or could be used. I told him that he would be secured from escape, but he would be able to be comfortable enough for the trip back to Missouri.
As I continued to talk with him, I got him to give me more information on his case. It took several conversations back and forth but he finally gave me a town in Missouri. I then started to set things in motion at a rapid pace. I contacted the local police department in the town and gave them the information that I had. When the information was plugged into the database, both the officer and I were shocked. It came back a woman! I then looked up the name the officer gave me and I found a woman matching some of the information that VT had given me. I could tell then that the "cat and mouse" game was in full swing!
The next day, I decided to up the ante for VT. I contacted the State of California about what was going on and was allowed authorization to come and take VT into custody providing I had the warrant from the bondsman. I then pulled up the picture of the woman that matched the name that VT had given me and sent it to him. He immediately called me once the picture came to his phone. I then told him that I was positive that he had connections to this woman and that he needed to come clean with me about everything and to do the right thing and give me the bondsman's name so that I could get things in place for him to turn himself in. I told him that I wasn't going to give up on him, even though he tried to stall me at every action. I had put a lot of time not only into my investigation, but more importantly, into the person on the other side of the phone.
As time went on, VT and I had several conversations talking about his surrender. VT tried every avenue to get me to forget about him and go on with my other cases. I countered him at every turn with the simple fact that no matter who it is that is looking for him, he would always be looking over his shoulder. Even if the thought is only in his mind, it is something that he could not forget about. Every town that he moves to, every friend that he has made, every phone call that he gets with an unfamiliar area code, he would wonder.
VT finally come to the decision that he couldn't take the pressure anymore. He called me one day asking if I had made a call to one of his aquaintences about him. I told him that I didn't. VT told me that everything that I told him he would be thinking had come true and wanted to know what he had to do to take care of it and be done with it entirely. I simply told him to give me the information that I had been asking for all along, his bondsman's name and number.
I was finally able to get what I needed from VT and put this chapter to rest. I took the name and number and spoke with one of the bondsman in the Missouri office and gave the bondsman the entire story just as you are reading here. I asked the bondsman about VT and his particular case and the bondsman told me that he had been on the run for over a year, and it would be up to the judge to re-activate the case. He was arrested on a drug charge and since he had been on the run for such a length of time, the insurance company paid off on the bond. The bondsman wanted to try and get VT brought to justice if nothing else but for a chance to re-coup some of the money lost on him.
To date, the judge has still not made a decision, and VT is still on the run. Unfortunately for him though, he still wonders about who is lurking behind him, and is having doubts about those closest to him.........
Since those many months of constant and sometimes infrequent communication with VT, he finally broke down and gave me his true identity, and another link to his past. I was able to locate VT under his real name as a former resident of a jail in Oklahoma who has been running for quite some time.
I contacted the Sheriff's Office in the Oklahoma City area about VT and gave them vital information they needed. Since handing over the case to that office in April of 2012, I haven't heard from VT since.