Life can look 'funny' through a private eye's eye
Posted November 24, 2008 11:27 p.m. EST
Updated March 29, 2010 1:44 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — WRAL News spent time recently with a Raleigh private eye who says her job is dangerous, emotional and sometimes humorous.
Cat Flowers recalled one instance involving jet skiing—a risky activity no matter what health a person is. Imagine how surprised then, she said, an insurance company was to see a man they insure out on the open water when he was supposed to have a back problem so severe he couldn't make it up a flight of stairs.
“It gets to be pretty funny at times,” said Flowers, who runs Cat's Eye Private Investigations.
Flowers handles all kinds of cases, from insurance fraud to infidelity.
“We've had to do surveillance on a lady who claimed she had a shoulder injury from icing a cake,” Flowers said.
During her 10 years in the business, she said, she has seen it all.
“We had a guy who had a back injury swap out an entire engine, almost single-handed, in his yard. That's hilarious, but it's true,” Flowers said.
For $70 an hour, her investigators will track, follow and observe people in four states. Domestic cases are the most common, but fraud cases are the most memorable, Flowers said.
One target of surveillance claimed his equilibrium was compromised when a tire blew out near his head.
“He was unsteady, off balance, and could hardly even walk at times,” Flowers said.
But, Flowers said, she caught him washing his truck, without his cane. Then, wearing the same shirt and with a clean truck, the man hobbled to his doctor's appointment. An hour later, he was off to the store to buy beer without a cane, Flowers said.
“I'll be honest, it's difficult to see some of this footage and not just laugh,” Flowers said.
However, her investigations are no laughing matter for the person faking a back injury or the spouse learning of an infidelity.
“There's a lot of emotion involved. Sometimes people come to our office, and they say, 'I'd like to see just some of the tape that you have of my significant other out there.' And they have literally collapsed in the office,” Flowers said.
Flowers is a former Raleigh police officer. She said no case is too big or too small. During one investigation, she worked undercover for a year.