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Private Investigators: Locate Your Stolen & Missing Goods

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Private Investigators: Locate Your Stolen & Missing Goods

You might not want to hear it, but in Canada, property and goods go missing all the time. Just take a look at these stats regarding packages stolen from porches: In 2019, FedEx ran a survey and discovered that out of 1,500 Canadians surveyed, one in four had a package stolen. In Alberta alone, that stat was the highest at one in three—and that’s just for stolen deliveries! It doesn’t cover retail and/or commercial stolen or missing goods. So, if you’ve fallen prey to a thief keen on stealing your goods, what can you do? We’re here to tell you that we’re on your side. Hiring a private investigator to locate your stolen and missing goods is one of your best shots at getting your property back. Keep reading to find out why!

Private Investigator Services: Locates

Locates is the term private investigators use to describe a particular service. The term ‘locates’ refers to the act of finding missing or stolen goods. A private investigator will help you to find a wide variety of goods, which can include anything from stolen warehouse products to missing office equipment. For example, our team of private investigators has helped to locate expensive machinery from a thief who disappeared after making only a partial payment.

The truth is, goods and property go missing all the time. It is a private investigator’s job to help clients locate their missing goods and identify the culprit. During a locate case, a good private investigator will gather legal evidence that their client can use in court. Helping to track down stolen goods ensures that a private investigator’s client gets their money or property back.

An Example of a Local Locate Investigation

In late July, investigators located a man living in the Wasaga Beach area with a suspicious vehicle. After locating his property, investigators found a goldmine of missing and stolen goods, including:

  • A 2006 Honda CRF80F dirt bike
  • A Chevrolet pickup truck (2002)
  • A Kia Forte (2019)
  • A number of sailboards

The stolen goods also included a large number of consumer goods and hand tools. So, the individual responsible not only stole goods from private property, but he also stole from various retail stores within the area.

Investigators arrested the individual and charged him with several related offences, including:

  • Theft of a motor vehicle (over $5000)
  • Seven counts of possession of property obtained by crime (under $5000)
  • Breaking and entering
  • Three counts of possession (over $5000)

It’s not clear what the man intended to do with the stolen goods. However, after locating all that stolen property, investigators can help to return the goods to their rightful owners.

Locates: Not Just for Stolen or Missing Goods

Here’s something you might not know: locates don’t just apply to stolen or missing goods. Locates also apply to finding people. It’s true! A private investigator will often get a request to locate a missing person. For example, let’s say that you’re adopted and you want to find your birth parents. Hiring a good private investigator will get you the answers you’re looking for—and fast. After all, licensed private investigators have access to databases and know the right research techniques to run successful background checks. So, if you’re looking for that long lost relative, or an ex-boyfriend who skipped town, hiring a private investigator will help locate them.

Locates & Other Methods of Private Investigation

In order to locate missing or stolen goods, a private investigator will also employ several other types of private investigation services including:


In some cases, a private investigator will set up surveillance to help locate your stolen and missing goods. One of the reasons why a private investigator will run surveillance is because sometimes people steal goods over a period of time. For example, let’s say that you run a successful restaurant. However, you notice that a lot of your food product goes missing every month. As part of the investigation, a private investigator or team of private investigators will set up surveillance. This means they will observe the restaurant from a discreet distance (at all hours) to try and catch the guilty party. Through this method of observation, a private investigation team can then track and trace the stolen food.

The tricky part of setting up surveillance to locate stolen goods is that there is a risk the thief will catch on. If a thief suspects they will get caught, they will modify their behavior. This becomes a problem because a private investigator wants to catch the thief. Therefore, a private investigator must develop a solid surveillance plan as part of the investigation.

Asset Searches

Sometimes, a private investigator will use asset search techniques to locate missing items. For example, a private investigator will often do an asset search in a divorce case. The reason for this is because one or both of the parties involved have hidden money, property, or other valuable items. Hiding assets during a divorce case is illegal. This is why a private investigator will use investigative techniques to determine what, if anything, an individual is hiding. Should a private investigator locate hidden assets, they can provide this information to the divorce lawyer.


A private investigator will interview people to try and determine who took the missing property and goods. If the private investigator already knows ‘who done it’, he or she will conduct interviews to try and get an idea as to where the thief took the goods. Conducting interviews requires a lot of skill and patience. With a little patience and the right communication techniques, a good private investigator can get a lot of information through interviews.

Working with a Private Investigator

Trying to locate missing or stolen goods isn’t easy. It requires a lot of legwork and training in investigative techniques. This is why it’s a good idea to contact the local police to report your property as missing or stolen. However, you should also know that in some situations, the police will just not have the time to focus on your case. This is why so many people prefer to hire a private investigator. Hiring and working with a private investigator to locate and recover missing assets ensures that the trail doesn’t go cold. A private investigator will focus on your case. He or she will dedicate the time required to locate your stolen goods and bring the culprit to justice.

Do you need help locating stolen or missing goods? Maybe you’re looking for a long-lost relative! Whatever your needs, one of our highly trained private investigators can help. Contact us today for more information.

Call: (888) 950-4113

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Whitney Joy Smith is a prominent figure in the field of private investigation and security, serving as the founder and CEO of The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., Smith Security Inc., and Training Centre Canada, as well as a sitting politician.

With a remarkable journey that began in the early 2000s, Whitney's professional background as a private investigator is underscored by her unwavering dedication to the role. Born in Canada and having spent her early years between Canada and the United States, Whitney possesses a unique perspective shaped by her experiences in both countries. This background equips her with an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of private investigative laws, regulations, and operational standards in North America.

Throughout her career, Whitney has garnered numerous industry awards and accolades. She takes great pride in working closely with her continually expanding agency, striving to elevate industry standards, maintain compliance, and effectively meet the diverse investigative needs of clients.

Whitney actively engages in various membership, committee, board and support roles, demonstrating her commitment to the industry and professional community. She is affiliated with all local chambers, associations and more.

Whitney's wealth of experience is not limited to her professional achievements; her thought-provoking articles have been featured in publications ranging from Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Mens Health to Business News Daily. She constantly seeks to redefine standards and push the boundaries of excellence within the private investigative and security fields.

To discover more about Whitney Joy Smith and the dedicated team at The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., visit our website to learn more.

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