How to protect yourself from people with criminal records

Find someone’s criminal record

How well do you know the people around you? Time and time again you hear of seemingly ordinary people committing the most horrible crimes. Kidnapping, murder, rape… The list goes on and on and in an alarming number of these cases the people around the criminal, including closest friends, were completely unaware of what was going on. How do you protect yourself against criminals like this?

Kate and John had been looking for someone to do some odd jobs on their property for some time so when they saw someone working on their neighbors house, Kate took the time to go and talk to him. His name was Jim and he came across as being very approachable. Kate liked him a lot so she asked him to come over and meet John that evening. John was equally impressed with Jim and they asked him to do some small jobs on their property.

Jim arranged to do the work later that week. He turned up on time, did the work efficiently and left. Kate and John were so impressed that they asked Jim to do several more jobs for them over the following weeks. Everything went according to plan and Jim became almost part of the family for a time. They came to trust Jim so much that they were quite happy to let him enter the property while they were out at work and even loaned him a set of keys.

Check his criminal record before letting him into your house.

The work took a little longer than expected as it so often does but at the end of 3 months John made a final inspection of the work and paid Jim in full. They paid cash because Jim asked for it. I’m not sure why workers in the building trade like to be paid in cash but that’s another story.

They only noticed the problem after Jim had vanished

Jim left the area and on to another job. Kate and John thought that everything was ok until one day Kate found something unusual while checking her credit card statements. Normally she doesn’t pay much attention to the statements and just clears some of the debt but this time something caught her eye.

There was a purchase that Kate didn’t recognize. It wasn’t for a large amount but she knew that she had been at a wedding all day on the date of purchase so she knew that she couldn’t have made it. She then looked closer at her statements for the previous 3 months and found that there were in fact quite a lot of transactions that she couldn’t account for. Some of them were hers of course – she simply didn’t remember using her card but there were others that definitely were not down to her. They were all small but amounted to several thousand dollars when you added them all up.

John was horrified by this and set about checking his own statements only to find the same pattern of unexplained transactions. Then they started to think about some things that they thought they had lost around the house – Kate’s cell phone and some jewelry that she didn’t wear very often. John had lost his PDA and a few power tools that hardly ever left his workshop. Had all these items been stolen?

You can avoid this happening to you

This is a fictitious story designed to illustrate a very real problem that does happen only too often. Kate and John could have avoided the problems that they now have trying to recover their money and property by doing a simple criminal records search. Jim had a criminal record and Kate and John were not his first victims. Nothing serious and he had served his time but he was an habitual thief. Something that they might have spotted from his record.

Author: Steve Gee

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