Is your PI Licensed ?

Utah busts unlicensed private investigators
May 3rd, 2011 @ 8:58pm
By Pat Reavy

SALT LAKE CITY — For the second time in two weeks, the Utah Department of Public Safety has arrested someone for working as a private investigator without a license.

Stephen Groves, 63, of Ogden, who also goes by the moniker “Captain Midnight,” was arrested and booked Monday into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of three counts of being a private investigator without a license, all class A misdemeanors, and a concealed weapons violation.

According to Salt Lake County Jail documents, Groves was hired to investigate a person’s ex-fiancé in March 2009. In April 2010, he was hired by another person to investigate that person’s wife.

Last month, an undercover officer posing as a customer hired Groves to investigate his wife as part of a sting operation. When the undercover officer and Groves met at Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Groves “was in possession of a large foldout knife that was concealed” in his clothing, according to jail records.

When Groves was finally confronted by law enforcers, he “admitted he did not meet the qualifications to become licensed” as a private investigator in Utah.

DPS spokesman Dwayne Baird said he did not know why Groves was not qualified to be licensed as a private investigator.

Two weeks ago, two men, ages 19 and 20, were arrested for allegedly being private investigators without licenses. The men had actually inquired with the Bureau of Criminal Identification about getting licenses but were told they didn’t meet the qualifications because they were too young. Nevertheless, the men set up their business and advertised on Facebook, according to police.

Baird said the state consistently keeps watch on possible cases of unlicensed private investigators.

“These are cases we always work,” he said. “I don’t think there’s an upswing in this type of case. It’s just that these cases have come to light recently.”

Licensing Required
The state of Utah requires all private investigation agencies, registrants, and apprentices to be licensed by the Bureau of Criminal Identification.  This helps to ensure consumer protection and that investigators are fully vetted before serving the public.  For more information regarding PI licensing in Utah, please visit the UT BCI website.