Two years after the murder of 83-year-old socialite Lois Colley, police have arrested Esdras Anibal Marroquin Gomez, an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who worked as a day laborer on Colley’s Westchester estate. Though this murder happened in 2015, investigators have only now detained Gomez. By the time the police identified him as a suspect, he had already fled the United States.
Because he worked as one of many day laborers with no consistent work schedule, investigators first had to take inventory of all workers and identify potential suspects. This lengthened the course of the investigation, adding an extra step that gave Gomez the time to escape.
In most investigations time is of the essence and for kidnapping cases in particular, this extra step may be the difference between life and death. Domestic kidnappers do not keep their victims alive for long; therefore, it is crucial that police identify suspects quickly and efficiently.
While kidnapping or murder are unlikely to happen, not knowing who is on your property raises risks of other criminal activity. In fact, The New York Times reported that in January 2016, two employees operating a grifting scheme out of the Colleys’ property were charged with felony grand larceny for stealing $30,000 worth of hay, which they resold.
Takeaway: Without a daily log of employees, it is difficult to keep track of who is working where and when. This lack of accountability makes it easier to get away with crime. Asking workers to sign-in when they provide a service is a necessary crime deterrent; it reduces anonymity and keeps a record of identity that speeds up the investigation process in the event of a crime. With this simple security procedure, potential offenders will be less emboldened to commit crimes because they are now a known entity with a greater chance of getting caught.