Okay, here’s the complete story of how I tracked down the guy who hit my car:
On Thursday when I left the office for lunch I noticed the damage on the driver’s side of my car’s read bumper. I figured it had to have happened that day or the day before because I would have probably noticed the damage had it happened a while ago. I knew we had security cameras that cover the front entrance and the parking lot, so I talked to the vice-president of our small company about checking the security footage.
We did some quick scanning of the footage hoping to luck out and see what happened, but it was clear that there was just too much time to cover. I got permission to get a copy of the footage from the parking lot camera for the time of the discovery to the beginning of the previous day to take home and look through on my own time.
I got the video I wanted onto my USB stick and took it home. After watching it for about twenty minutes I found the footage of the hit and run. The person came into our parking lot and parked across from me, then went into our office with something in his left arm. A minute later he left our office empty handed and then hit my car as he backed out.
Seeing that the person who hit my car actually came into the office I realized I could get footage from the other two security cameras — one which covers the outside of the front entrance and one which covers the foyer — and get an image of the guy’s face. I was one step closer to finding the identity of the culprit.
I couldn’t quite make out what the guy was carrying into the office. It almost looked like a couple of cups of coffee or something. His car wasn’t marked, and the guy was not wearing any sort of uniform, so I supposed he was either an acquantance of someone at work (as opposed to a courier), or was one of the various contractors who have been occasionally coming into and out of our office over the past two months dealing with the various repairs from the flood that had occurred earlier this year. Maybe the guy was dropping off some paint cans or something.
At work the next day I got the footage of the guy from the other two cameras. I still coulnd’t quite make out what the guy was carrying, but I talked with one of the employees who works near the front desk about the entire issue and she immediately recalled meeting the guy. She didn’t know who he was; all she knew was that the guy dropped off a couple of spindles of DVDs and that she didn’t have to sign for anything. The DVDs were my next clue.
After this I talked with our receptionist about who presses our DVDs for us (she wasn’t at her desk when the suspect came in). She gave me the name of the company and the names of two males whom she knew worked at that company. These two men were my prime suspects. She also gave me the address of the company, which I looked up on Google Maps. The company was located a mere three blocks away! It was time to hit the streets.
I rounded up a posse of two of my co-workers and we left in one of their cars. I didn’t want to use mine because I didn’t want to chance spooking the suspect. We drove down to the suspect’s office and looked for the car that was involved in the hit and run. We found it parked on the street.
I verified that this was the right car during an initial drive-by, seeing the damage on his car. A second drive-by and I had photographs of the damage and the car’s license plate. I had him.
I contacted the police in order to file a hit and run report. The cop I talked to said the police prefer not to use resources filing a hit and run for instances which were likely just an accident or a simple mistake; it’s only the malicious hit and runs that they really want to prosecute.
Still, the cop took the license plate number and told me he’d call the guy and see what he says. If the guy admitted to hitting my car (without being told there was video of the incident), then no hit and run report would be filed and we would just go through insurance like a normal accident. If the guy claimed he wasn’t there, then the police would take it as a serious hit and run and ask me to come down in person to file a report along with my video evidence.
The cop called me back a short while later after having talked with the culprit, giving me his name and some of his other information. The cop said the guy admitted he made a delivery to our office, had no idea he had hit me, and was very sorry about the whole thing. So, it’s all going to go through insurance as a regular accident being 100% his fault.
That’s the story.
I tracked the guy down within twenty-four hours.