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Luca meets Mike LaCorte
Private Investigator

Luca meets Mike LaCorte | Kidspiration

Did you know that, right now, the world’s top detective works in London? But it’s not James Bond, Sherlock, or anyone from MI5. That top detective is Mike LaCorte. He was named Investigator of the Year, in September, by the World Association of Detectives.

Now a company director of Conflict International, Mr. LaCorte has been a private investigator for twenty years. Private detectives or investigators do research and run investigations for individuals or businesses that need information.

Mr. LaCorte speaks Spanish and Italian and has a background in business and finance. His work today includes investigation and surveillance, background checks, and undercover operations, as well as other fact-finding inquiries.

Conflict International’s main office is in London, with branches in New York City and Marbella, Spain. His company’s surveillance work is often done in teams but he likes to remain in personal contact with a client while the investigation is going on. Then, after all the evidence is collected, the Conflict International legal team prepares it for any future court presentations.

What are Mr. LaCorte’s tips for following someone without being detected? Make minimal eye contact and never make exactly the same moves as your subject does. Disguises probably aren’t necessary and definitely, no false noses!

Luca interviews Mike LaCorte, private detective, at a secret location.



Luca:
Hey. I’m Luca and today I’m meeting a private detective. His name’s Mike LaCorte, and he’s the Second Vice President of the World Association of Detectives. This modern day Sherlock Holmes has agreed to tell me a few secrets. Let’s go and meet him.

—-

Luca:
Can you tell me who you are, and what you do?

Mike:
So, my name’s Mike LaCorte. I’m the Director of Conflicts and Learning, so I’m an international investigator.

Luca:
What’s the majority of your cases, and the type of …?

Mike:
The work that we do would be general profiling, so background checks investigation work, and furthermore from that would be operation surveillance, so following someone around, photographing and filming them, where they go and who they meet, and what they’re doing.

Luca:
How would that kind of work? Would you, personally, be literally just following them, or do you have people onboard to, at different locations, to contact and say, “All right. He’s coming through?” How does it work?

Mike:
We work in surveillance teams. So you wouldn’t … it would be very difficult to follow … it’s not like a man with a camera running behind someone, filming them. It’s an operation. So, if you have someone leaving this office, for example, there’ll be an observation point, a trigger, someone who’s watching the door, who is waiting for you to leave. And then there’ll be left and right cut offs. So you’ll have someone parked up the street on the left side, someone on the right. And everyone will have radio communication, so one … the trigger speaks, the whole team can hear. And it’ll be, “The subject’s out. He’s turned left. He’s into a black cab.” And so it’s the responsibility for, say, the left cut off to pick up the taxi and take it away.

Luca:
And follow the taxi.

Mike:
Drive it, yeah.

—-

Mike:
So, just had a call from the client. Intelligence suggests that our target, our subject’s got a brown jacket on, like a denim shirt, black bottoms. He’s, I’d say, late 30s, slightly thinning hair, about five foot ten. We’ll go down and see if we can find him. I think he’s in a hotel around the corner.

Luca:
Okay.

Mike:
Let’s go. So it’s the Cavendish Hotel. And I’ll brief you before, what we do. We go in and scan the hotel and look for him, but without him seeing you. That’s the most important thing. So remember, when you’re inside, draw the least amount of attention to you.

So remember, you need to scan the room.

Luca:
Yeah.

Mike:
Okay. If you see him, minimum eye contact. There’s no point in having eye contact with him, ’cause it gives him a chance to remember you. But be natural and just walk up near him, get the image, come back and tell me, and then we’ll do the next bit, yeah?

Luca:
Okay. Cool.

Mike:
Good luck.

Luca:
Okay.

Mike:
Okay. How did you get on?

Luca:
Yeah, I spotted him inside, but he’s by himself.

Mike:
By himself. What… was he doing anything, or…?

Luca:
He’s reading a paper, I think.

Mike:
Paperwork or newspaper.

Luca:
Newspaper, I think.

Mike:
All right. Okay. Maybe he’s got a meeting afterwards. So let’s wait for him outside. And once he goes away… once he comes out we’ll follow him away.

Luca:
Okay.

Mike:
Okay?

Luca:
Okay.

Mike:
Seen him come out?

Luca:
Yeah. He’s just there.

Mike:
Okay. Which way’s he going?

Luca:
Left. His left.

Mike:
Okay. All right, he’s crossing over. Don’t cross. Never mirror what he does.

You can see him now?

Luca:
Yeah. He’s gone into the park.

Mike:
Now when you go into the park, maybe slip to the left so he doesn’t see you.

Luca:
Okay.

Mike:
The brief is to get to his meeting.

Luca:
Okay.

Mike:
So this is pretty important for us. I think we’re okay to go in. Go in and turn left.

Great position. Great position. Luca: fantastic job. Well done.

Luca:
Thank you.

Mike:
Very good.

Luca:
Thanks.

Mike:
You’ve got the good …

Luca:
The necessary skills?

Mike:
Yeah.

Luca:
And do you ever… if you, say, are watching James Bond or something, would you… is that similar to what you do, or is that a bit over dramatic?

Mike:
Yeah. James Bond is James Bond. There are… We do have a lot of hidden cameras, hidden audios, and some bits of kit, actually, that can be deployed on operations. But none that are like the stuff that you see in the spy movies.

Luca:
So you wouldn’t be jumping on top of trains and punching people and stuff.

Mike:
Maybe not this week, no.

Luca:
No. And what kind of gear do you have, ’cause you said you have radios and stuff. What kind of things do you use?

Mike:
This is one of numerous tracking devices. These are magnetic, and that will stick under a car or anything metal, really.

Luca:
So, and then, would that send a signal to …

Mike:
Yeah. I’ll show you.

Luca:
To your phone?

Mike:
Yeah. Well, any phone, iPad. So look, that’s where we are now.

Luca:
Oh, yeah.

Mike:
And see that?

Luca:
Yeah.

Mike:
That’s exactly where the device is. That’s the building, which is there.

Luca:
Oh, yeah.

Mike:
And that’s us, there. Okay. It’s not gonna give you the exact position in the office, but you know that …

Luca:
You know roughly. You said you go abroad a lot. Have you ever had to wear a disguise or something? Like in Sherlock Holmes, do you ever have to have false … I don’t know … false noses or whatever?

Mike:
Yeah. We do wear disguises. We stay away from false noses, though.

Luca:
Right. Yeah, yeah.

Mike:
They’re not very good. No. But hats. For example, working in central London, you could come with a suit, trousers, shirt type, with a jumper, and a casual coat on. And then, when you get off the train into central London, you can take your casual coat off and you’ve got a shirt and tie underneath. It’s a complete change of disguise, but relatively easy.

Luca:
What advice would you give to kids, someone my age or a bit younger?

Mike:
Yeah. Okay. Well, once you hit, say… what is it? 17 or 18? … we do internships here. So you’re more than happy to come and spend some time here and understand how we work.

Luca:
Well, thanks. Thanks very much for talking to me.

Mike:
Pleasure. Nice talking to you.

—-

Luca:
I hope you enjoyed meeting Mike and finding out about life in the detective business. Keep your eyes and ears open, and I’ll see you next time.