High-Tech Detectives, Armed with Computer Database
Private investigator Rob Kimmons has an unusual partner to solve his capers. Kimmons, a high-tech detective, relies on his computer.
By using a computer database, Kimmons and his staff at Kimmons Investigative Services Inc. can track the assets of companies or find out if someone has been married before.
“Five or six years ago, I didn’t even own a computer, Kimmons said. “Now I don’t know how we can live without it.”
Kimmons, who is the firm’s founder and president, recently opened a branch office of his investigations firm in Galveston.
The new office is temporarily located at 2002 Church St. and employs three people. Kimmons plans to increase the staff to between six and eight people by the end of the year.
The company is a full service investigations and security firm, specializing in background checks, pre-employment checks, personal injury investigations, and research into a company’s assets.
Kimmons was a Houston police officer and a firefighter before he became a private investigator 13 years ago. When he opened his own firm 1 years ago, his office was next door to a public records research company.
“I started using them for my clients, and I learned what was out there and what was available through public records and databases,” he said.
When the company went bankrupt, Kimmons hired several of its workers and added computer databases at his own businesses. The databases are updated monthly.
“It enhances your abilities as a private investigator,” he said. “To some people, it’s scary. But to private investigators, it’s great.”
Kimmons now has offices in Houston, Austin, and Dallas.
Kimmons’ specialty is asset discovery. The firm was hired by ABC’s 20/20 to locate Texas assets tied to Ferdinand Marcos and by Donald Trump during his divorce proceedings.
Kimmons said he decided to open an island office since his firm has been doing a lot of business in the area.
The company has investigated numerous personal injury accidents in the Galveston and Texas City area. It has worked for both personal injury lawyers and insurance companies.
Kimmons also said his staff has gone undercover in corporate workplaces and investigated drug activity and theft.
One of the biggest growth areas for the company involves requests by people to do background checks on their boyfriends and girlfriends, Kimmons said.
“It’s picked up the last few years,” he said. “People are running background checks on their boyfriends and girlfriends before marriage. Sometimes, it’s a smart thing to do.
“The ones who come to us have a reason for being suspicious. Our background checks find out a lot of new information for people who come in.”
For example, a woman came to Kimmons because the charming man she was dating wouldn’t give her his phone number, Kimmons and his staff’s background checks found out the man, who lived in a neighboring county, was married. Police regularly were called to the man’s home for domestic violence disturbances.
Kimmons said women are more likely than men to request background checks on their fiancés. They request everything from criminal history to asset information.
By Janice Simon, The Daily News, May 9,1993