r/NoStupidQuestions Jan 20 '22

PI seems to be stalking my friend and a tracking device was found. What do I do? Unanswered

[deleted]

95 Upvotes

55

u/Luckbot Jan 20 '22

Is tracking ppl like this legal?

Depends where you live

If there is a tracking device on her car, is there a way for me to connect to it and see where it's sending data to?

Unlikely. Unless the PI is an idiot. But even then you need a tech expert.

Neither my friend nor her brother-in-law are doing crimes or anything, so I really don't see the point of the PI.

But does the other side know that? They're propably just looking for any way to win the custody by having evidence of them doing anything that a court could see as a sign of being bad parents.

49

u/SmashLanding Jan 20 '22

They're propably just looking for any way to win the custody by having evidence of them doing anything that a court could see as a sign of being bad parents.

Yep, this is what I was going to say.

Also, you should find out if tracking peoeple is legal in your state. If not, that's something you can use in the dispute. If it is, ship the tracking device to Alaska or something. The PI is dumb enough to get his tech discovered, he deserves to lose it.

21

u/OldManPaul07734 Jan 20 '22

Shipping costs money. Stick it on a Greyhound bus or long haul truck and wave bye-bye!

9

u/SmashLanding Jan 20 '22

Yeah that's what I'd do but I thought that sounds kinda sketchy to suggest to a stranger. I'd stick it to a city bus tbh.

4

u/tossaway78701 Jan 20 '22

It's a little big to flush but a storm drain with running water would take it for a nice wild ride.

9

u/capchaos Jan 20 '22 Wholesome

Only rain in the drain.

4

u/Boofaholic_Supreme Jan 20 '22

Pollution

5

u/tossaway78701 Jan 20 '22

Yeah. I know it's not cool. Stick it in a trash truck works too.

3

u/Boofaholic_Supreme Jan 20 '22

Not a bad idea. OP could also pay for Fedex ground shipping and send it to a fake address across the country. It’ll make it all the way there before being returned to sender. Probably confuse the fuck outta the PI

10

u/tossaway78701 Jan 20 '22

Hand it over to BILs custody lawyer and just let it sit there while they sweat.

3

u/hypermelonpuff Jan 20 '22

thank you, the battery is awful for the environment. everyone knows only car batteries are safe to throw in the ocean. anything small and YTA op.

2

u/Natsurulite Jan 20 '22

Car batteries go in rivers dude, ocean is for plastics 😡

1

u/_significant_error Jan 20 '22

attach to container ship and send it through the Panama Canal

1

u/blackberrybunny Jan 21 '22

That is hilarious!!

10

u/kaismama Jan 20 '22

Is it possible they think your friend is having an affair with BIL since she is siding with him? I thought that might be something if the PI can prove they are meeting up.

6

u/Krussdog46 Jan 20 '22

Exactly what I was thinking. If the custody battle hinges on the friend saying the grandparents (OP's friend's parents) are bad people, and therefore the sister shouldn't win custody, they would want to discredit OP's friend as a witness. If they can prove that OP's friend is having an affair with her BIL, they can say that is the reason she is siding with the BIL, and not that the grandparents are actually bad people. It's pretty bad that they can't just make her provide sworn testimony as to why she says they're bad people. If she made something up, it could be perjury. So unless she wants to perjure herself, she wouldn't have anything to say as to why she feels they are bad people. However, she's siding against her own sister and parents so I have a feeling they really are bad people and she probably has the dirt to prove it.

To OP, how did they find out that the parents and/or sister of your friend had hired a PI? Also, how did the device get discovered? They're usually placed in areas that make them inconspicuous so they are tough to notice unless you are actually looking for one.

1

u/[deleted] Jan 20 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

4

u/Krussdog46 Jan 20 '22

You are correct as it relates to photographs and video in public places but the laws are often different for things such as tracking devices. Depending on location, placing a tracker on someone's private vehicle without consent could definitely be against the law.

5

u/GeraldJekyll Jan 20 '22

2

u/Krussdog46 Jan 20 '22

I commented above but you may not have seen it. How did your friend and their BIL find out that her parents had hired a private investigator? How was the tracker first discovered? By your description it seems like someone either got lucky finding it or knew what to look for.

Assuming that there is a connection between the tracker, your friend, their BIL, the PI, and the custody battle, my guess is the parents are trying to find ways to diminish the custody arguments the BIL is trying to make. And if your friend is part of that battle, they're probably also trying to discredit her by saying she's having an affair with the BIL.

17

u/Flat_Contribution707 Jan 20 '22

Your friend and her bil need to contact law enforcement as well as a lawyer immediately.

8

u/root88 Jan 20 '22

It's part of a divorce, meaning that the truck is likely in both or the other person's name. It's perfectly legal to put a tracker on your own truck. The other person could even say they were afraid their ex was going to steal the truck.

6

u/buttrapebearclaw Jan 20 '22

Was the vehicle purchased at a “buy here, pay here” type dealership?

5

u/floydfan Jan 20 '22

Usually a BHPH place will integrate the tracking with the ignition system so they can disable the car and have a more permanent power solution, since it takes years to pay off a car.

This is definitely more temporary.

1

u/lovelynutz Jan 20 '22

And wasn’t on the vehicle before.

6

u/adramelke Jan 20 '22

putting a tracking device on a vehicle that you don't own would be grounds for a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. however you would have to find out who did it and prove they were the one that did it before you could do anything about it in a court. you could talk to the company that manufactured the device, but they'd likely be unwilling to give up the name of the buyer.

If you want to catch someone that's following you, go to several different places and have a friend keep an eye on cars in the parking lot while you go inside(maybe even take pictures), eventually the same car will show up more than once or they'll wise up to what you're doing and stop for a while.

The best thing to do would be to set up cameras and try to catch them in an act that can be prosecuted. even with those things in mind, you should remember that PIs are often former police, military, government, etc. and will probably have friends that will help them out of a jam.

1

u/FirstTimeRodeoGoer Jan 20 '22

You mostly have your car out in public. We aren't entitled to to privacy in public, that's why you can photograph people in public. Jerkbag paparazzi take advantage of this by climbing trees and trying to shoot celebs over their fences, it works because the assholes are on a tree on a public street, even if the subject is in their own back yard. Most of what this tracker will tell someone is your whereabouts out in public, not private.

1

u/lovelynutz Jan 20 '22

The sim-card will have the account information

9

u/fingeronfire Jan 20 '22

try r/whatisthis for the ID

2

u/GeraldJekyll Jan 20 '22

thx

4

u/UndeadBuggalo Jan 20 '22

r/legaladvice would be a good place to ask too about legality

3

u/sciatore Jan 20 '22

I would be very careful with r/legaladvice. There's nothing stopping a random person from giving questionable advice.

3

u/tiptoeintotown Jan 20 '22

True story: it’s heavily modded by cops and law enforcement, not actual attorneys, so most of the allowed content is skewed to favor police and law enforcement. They’re very ban happy for anyone questioning the police in any way shape or form.

2

u/_significant_error Jan 20 '22

I'd email a lawyer before taking legal advice from anyone on reddit. Anyone can claim to be anything. On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

1

u/drugsarebadmmk420 Jan 20 '22

Also nothing stopping a lawyer or law enforcement from giving bad advice

3

u/tsunamitime Jan 20 '22

Leave it hidden in a place with 24/7 camera coverage. Eventually after it sits long enough the owner of the tracker will come for it or replace the batteries.

3

u/tiptoeintotown Jan 20 '22

This.

Better Call Saul.

2

u/ThymeCypher Jan 20 '22

There’s not enough information here to give answers, but to address some points. * Depending on your country and state, it’s not usually illegal for licensed private investigators to attach GPS devices to a vehicle they wish to track. You need to check the law in your area. It’s good to talk to a lawyer but don’t go in expecting to need to hire one. * The point of a PI is to build a profile of behavior to be able to present to a court why the person is unfit to be a parent. It’s one thing to say “they like to go to strip clubs” and another to have evidence of it. It doesn’t have to be illegal, making 5 trips to a liquor store - even though completely legal and unrelated to someone’s drinking habits, as even I frequent our local liquor store as they are the only ones who carries Fever Tree reliably. It’s not about proving so much that someone is unfit but proving someone else is more fit. * Also depending on location, it can be not only beneficial but critical for one party to hire a PI to have a chance. Some places insist joint custody with limited exceptions, many favor maternal custody and child support. As such it’s extremely common.

So in summary, the only reasonable advice I see is to get a consultation from a lawyer, consider also hiring a PI, and above all if you’re asked to return the tracker unless you are able to verify that the PI is unlicensed, return it, or you could be facing legal issues that can really affect the outcome.

2

u/drugsarebadmmk420 Jan 20 '22

So if a PI puts a tracking device on my car, and I find it and destroy it, I could be liable for the cost of the device? I'd go to jail just on principle in that case.

2

u/thehatteryone Jan 20 '22

Followed you here from WITT - if the device does have a SIM card, and this tracking is illegal where you are, the police may be able to track the purchaser and previous activty on it, via the cell company that issued it. Some configurtion in it may be extractable by you or an expert, that would give you different info to point to the device's owner. Download the device's manual and have a read, it should help you figure out how exactly it interacts with the person who installed it.

4

u/[deleted] Jan 20 '22

Sounds like your "friend" is having an affair with your "brother in law."

1

u/444Aurelius Jan 20 '22

Can you find a serial number or ID# on the tracker? If you can, perhaps you can pin down who put the device on your car. That’s unsettling. Hope you find a resolution.

1

u/ILikeToPoopOnYou Jan 20 '22

Who is PI? Edit: oh....

1

u/Boomer1058 Jan 20 '22

Take it off the car, and throw it in your garbage and let them go to the dump and find it.

-9

u/altaccount_39 Jan 20 '22

Umm, honestly if it a legit P.I if you just stare and point at them they should stop, I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s shameful for them to still investigate you if you point them out, I remember my buddy telling me that when a P I was following his cousin around.

11

u/raumschiffzummond Jan 20 '22

No. If a PI is "made," they'll either back off for a week or so or have a different investigator tail you. They're not going to stop out of professional pride or whatever: they're being paid. Also (for example), if an insurance company hires a PI to find out if you're committing insurance fraud by faking an injury, the client is not going to just let it go.

2

u/altaccount_39 Jan 20 '22

Thank you for explaining that so much better then I could