New Jersey Cheating Spouse Investigations

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 The “Cheating Spouse Investigation” Commences, What Can I Expect From The New Jersey Private Investigator?

In Part 1 of this series of articles from the perspective of my thirty-five experience as Jersey City Police Officer and even more importantly my experience as a New Jersey Private Investigator  I discussed how most often the worst part of a cheating spouse is the lying, deception, break down in trust and overall lengths your partner will go to in order that the cheating spouse can cover their tracks; it leaves you feeling like a fool, isolated from friends and family because you are too embarrassed to confide in anyone on the Infidelity in your relationship, it has been described to me by one client as feeling as if you are on an island of despair with no way off. As discussed, often the first emotions experienced by the victim of infidelity is the gut feeling that something is wrong, usually followed by your researching on the internet or other sources for the classic signs of a cheating spouse. This is often the point a New Jersey Private investigator is retained to conduct a cheating spouse investigation.

In Part 2 of this series of articles I discussed your taking the first step of researching New Jersey Private Investigators not really knowing what the procedures are in retaining a Private Investigator or for that matter what the whole process would entail. After your research you decide to take the additional step of consulting with one of several New Jersey Private Investigators (“which happens to be Cowan Investigations” for purposes of this article).

During this initial consultation, I will have been able to visualize a general overall picture of what is or has been going on in your relationship related to your spouse’s cheating and the other dubious behavior you describe. While you had been relating the happenings in your relationship during the consultation, I will have been concurrently formulating a plan of action and a strategy for an investigatory tract for the inquiry should I be retained as your Private Investigator by you to conduct a Cheating Spouse Investigation. Despite not yet having possession of all the information needed to begin an Infidelity Investigation it is often possible to predict a trajectory for an inquiry based on the information conveyed during this initial consultation. After your having consulted with me you decide the investigation is a go, you want to find out if, how and with whom your spouse is cheating with.

The beginning of a successful Cheating Spouse Investigation begins with thorough planning and meticulous preparation by my conducting a detailed interview regarding the subject’s friends, workplace, habits, hobbies and favorite places to go. The acquiring of this information prior to the initiation of a Infidelity Surveillance or other investigatory steps allows for a clear picture of the target’s routine and helps avoid attempting to obtain this information from the client while the Private Investigator is out in the field conducting the Cheating Spouse Investigation.

Preparation by the Private Investigator on the day prior to the first cheating spouse investigation surveillance  (none of this time consuming surveillance preparation is charged to a client) includes but is not limited to a mapping system satellite search and photo screenshots of the subject property and surrounding area in addition to intelligence on the towns/municipalities where the investigation will take place, in this way the Investigator will be able to plan surveillance locations in addition to having in place a cover story for my presence in the area should I be challenged by a resident or other person in the area.

I offer a brief example of a cover story; some time ago a resident (and a pretty big guy) who had seen me in the area a couple of times asked me why I was there, in my possession I had multiple printouts of homes for sale in the area in addition to having notes on some of the printouts in which I had calculated the cost of the square footage of some of the homes. I shared with this resident that I had been searching for homes and wanted to check out the neighborhoods, I even showed him the paperwork in my possession. The curious guy was put at ease and thanked me for answering his inquiry.

One thing extremely critical to the Private Investigator in achieving a successful outcome in a Cheating Spouse Investigation is the acquiring and maintaining of the proper surveillance equipment. One of the best assets I have with respect to surveillance equipment is the investments made into the purchase of dedicated surveillance vehicles and the ability of my cameras and binoculars affording me the opportunity to keep my distance from the subject of the investigation while at the same time permitting me to take photos and videos from afar without being detected. I have invested heavily in the purchase of quality surveillance equipment, i.e. night vision video cameras, high powered telephoto cameras, dash cams, surreptitious cameras which enable me to take video inside places such as restaurants, gyms, malls etc. In addition, I have high-powered binoculars that enable me to obtain a license plate from close to three tenths of a miles away (which is a pretty substantial distance). Interestingly, although the dash camera is on the lower spectrum in terms of pricing, I have found this camera to be invaluable in terms of getting relevant video and photos of questionable behavior in many of my investigations, i.e. My dash cam actually took a video of a target crossing into Pennsylvania while using the cash lane despite the fact that he had an EZPASS available, I was even able to extract a still photo of the exchange of money at the toll booth. Prior to beginning the Cheating Spouse Investigation all of this equipment must be, charged, prepared for use and checked for operability.

As to my most useful asset as a Private Investigator is a 2017 surveillance van purchase solely for purposes of being able to park literally in front of a subjects home while secreting myself in the rear of the van where I can remain for an entire day taking video while being undetected, the vehicle would look parked and unoccupied.  You will not find many New Jersey Private Investigators with an undetectable surveillance like our vehicle, ordinarily you will find most New Jersey Private Investigators performing surveillances while sitting in the front seat of a car which resembles an unmarked police car as well as the Private Investigator looking like a retired cop.  What could possibly go wrong with that scenario?

I am of the belief that all of the four preceding paragraphs are helpful in summarizing to the reader the process of getting to the point of hiring a New Jersey Private Investigator to investigate the possibility of infidelity on the part of your spouse. It is equally important the reader understands the preparation required of a Private Investigator in terms of actually beginning an effective active investigation that will achieve results supported by evidence.

The Active “On The Ground Cheating Spouse Investigation” Commences, What Can You Expect Of  Your Private Investigator?

One of the first rules during a cheating spouse investigation as with any other investigation is the understanding that once the operation on the ground begins the Private Investigator is  in charge of making decisions on how to conduct the investigation while out in the field. It is important the client not contact me for updates and such while the investigation is operational as I am going to be involved In different activities whether it be stationary, mobile or pedestrian surveillance, unless of course you have information that needs to be immediatley provided. If you have important information to provide  a quick text will do and I will get back to you if I believe I need to. In addition, you will be provided a telephone number in order to contact my office so you are able to speak with an investigator should you need to provide information which you believe may be exigent. At all times while I am in the field conducting a cheating spouse investigation I always have a support investigator assigned to take calls from the client. In addition, this Private Investigator is also positioned to provide information I may need while out on the street by utilizing the several private investigator background databases we utilize.

As you might have concluded from all my previous writings, as a Private investigator I am of the sincere belief that the nuts and bolts of any successful cheating spouse investigation, or for that matter any other type of investigation is the foundation it is based on, and the preparation which is conducted prior to even setting foot in the field. With that said, I believe it is crucial (at least the way I work) to arrive in the field at the location where the investigation is to begin at least thirty minutes prior to what has been agreed upon with the client (of course no fees for this additional time). There are several reasons for arriving early:

  • Despite having previously mapped out the area on a computer mapping system it is imperative for a Private Investigator to see current conditions, something a mapping system will not provide,
  • The Private Investigator will be in a position to analyze the current conditions at the surveillance site and decide whether to change plans I had made based on my prior research, and lastly,
  • This is New Jersey you might get stuck in traffic, enough said.

Many surveillances in a cheating spouse investigations will begin from within the confines of a vehicle, with that in mind it is essential the investigator provide for certain needs, both logistical and personal:

  1. The Private Investigator must ensure the surveillance vehicle fully gassed up, does the client really want to hear from me that at a critical point during a mobile surveillance I had to call a “time out” because I needed to gas up?
  2. As simple as this sounds, the Private Investigator must have EZPASS!!! In the past I had been subcontracted to work an investigation, which included a vehicular moving surveillance, I was partnered up with another Private Investigator whom I did not know. As we were exiting off of the New Jersey Turnpike in South Jersey I was intentionally in front of the subject vehicle while the other Investigator was positioned behind the subject. To make a long story short, I was shocked to learn my co-investigator did not have EZPASS and the subject vehicle was lost. All I can say is “it wasn’t my fault” but the client doesn’t want to hear that. Needless to say, any Private Investigator who works for me is going to be prepared.
  3. The Private Investigator must ensure to take any food and beverages needed in a cooler inside the vehicle, because the Investigator will not be able to jump out at a deli and pick up a sandwich.
  4. Without being too descriptive, it is important that any Private Investigator be able to take care of their personal needs while remaining inside the vehicle, I have not often been to a surveillance location which has access to a porto-potty, in addition if the Investigator misses something on an Infidelity Surveillance what are you going to tell the client? I had to go to the bathroom; I have not used the bathroom excuse since I graduated from grammar school. Although, during my thirty-five years on the Jersey City Police Department I have heard that excuse more times than I can count.

The failure of a New Jersey Private Investigator to take any of the four steps cited above and for the investigator to believe it is acceptable while on the client’s dime to just stop at a Wawa, gas up while going in to use the bathroom and picking up a bite to eat is just not acceptable. I have seen Private Investigators who believe this is okay; conduct such as this will result in a significant risk of damaging the investigation, the Private Investigator will either miss a significant visual moment or even worse, lose track of the subject, thus causing unwarranted expense to the client; below is a link to an informative article I wrote regarding surveillance by a New Jersey Private Investigator.

This portion of the article is going to contain an example of activities conducted during a cheating spouse investigation. Although the example provided is true in substance, for purposes of client confidentiality very substantial information has been altered in a manner that would make the investigation unrecognizable, i.e. gender, age, geographical locations, activities etc.

Over the course of the four articles I submitted I have talked much about that “gut instinct” a spouse often gets when he or she feels their partner is cheating. Among other investigations, I have conducted numerous infidelity investigations and with the exception of one investigation, I have uncovered evidence that the target of the inquiry was being unfaithful. It was actually nice when I reported to the client that despite the depth of the investigation I was of the opinion his partner was not being unfaithful. However, that leaves the rest of the investigations in which the target of the investigation appeared to be unfaithful based on the highly suggestive evidence that myself and my team uncovered. What follows will be an example of what was uncovered and the type of evidence acquired, again major identifying characteristics of the investigation referenced has been altered to adhere to confidentiality requirements.

A Cheating Spouse Case Study

Synopsis: An elderly male was dating an elderly woman they both lived apart. The male lived in Delaware while the woman lived in Deep South Jersey, and the client was not exactly certain where his girlfriend lived (never been to the home) but had that “gut instinct” his girl was cheating on him. The Client related seeing multiple “common signs” of cheating in his girlfriend (Subject) and retained me for a cheating spouse investigation.

An exhaustive background inquiry was conducted on the Subject in order to determine where she actually resided. The Subject’s actual residence was located and found to be in Deep South Jersey in a very rural location, which was going to make for a very difficult surveillance. The client provided information on when and what time he believed would be best to conduct a surveillance (based on client’s knowledge of subject’s schedule and routine). Client took my advice and agreed to a two-investigator surveillance both in separate vehicles.

Surveillance began at 11:00am on a weekday, as stated before it was a tough location, myself and my partner found it necessary to constantly be in motion performing “pass-bys” of the Subjects home which was located on a heavily wooded lot. At 12:15pm the Subject left the property and a mobile surveillance ensued this Subject (Elderly Woman) drove like Kyle Bush the famed Nascar driver. My partner and I managed to keep up with the Subject and followed her into Delaware, and directly to the same area the Client lived. The Subject was observed picking up an elderly male from a one family home a couple of blocks from the Client’s Home, upon entering the Subjects Vehicle the couple engaged in a brief kiss, photos acquired. The couple was followed and were seated close to one another while in the car, the man with his arm around the Subject, photos acquired.
The couple drove to a mall and entered a movie theatre while holding hands, video and photos acquired. The couple entered the theatre while I followed in directly behind them; in the theatre I acquired photos of the couple seated together with the man’s arm around the Subject.

After the theatre the couple while holding hands were followed on foot to a nearby restaurant, photos acquired by me, video acquired by my partner. Couple entered the restaurant and sat in a booth, the couple sat directly next to one another on the same side of the booth. I entered restaurant and sat at the bar where I had perfect visual of the couple, while in this position I acquired both video and photos. After leaving the restaurant the couple returned to the vehicle, the couple remained in the vehicle for approximately fifteen minutes kissing and hugging for much of the time, photos and video acquired. The couple returned to the mans home which they both entered; the Subject exited approximately two hours later, photos and video acquired. The Subject headed back toward New Jersey and surveillance was concluded.

All evidence that was acquired in addition to an thorough report was provided to the client who based on the information provided was in a position on how to proceed with his relationship and life.


Bob CowanAbout the author: Bob Cowan is the owner of Cowan Investigations a full service New Jersey Private Investigations Firm, Bob is the former Chief of the Jersey City Police Department and has 35 years experience as a police officer in New Jersey’s second largest municipality.

If you wish to speak with me regarding this article, or if you need a consultation regarding it’s contents please do not hesitate to call me at 732-837-8444, seven days a week 8:00am to 8:00pm.

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