Shielding A Stalking Target
For months, a key analyst at an alternative asset management firm had been receiving messages via email and text from a man she had never met. Even though he often commented on her recent life events the analyst wasn’t too concerned and just blocked or deleted the messages. It was when he told her that he had moved to a new job in the same office complex as hers (and sent a photo of her building) that she felt threatened and reported the situation to HR.
Insite got the call for help at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday of a holiday weekend and immediately developed a threat management plan of action. In the next six days, a matter that typically takes months to resolve was mitigated by an integrated team of investigators, armed protection agents, surveillance personnel, and security operations consultants who worked with the analyst and her firm’s legal and HR managers.
Insite’s threat management action plan had a dual focus. 1) Understand the stalker and his capacity for violent behavior. Research revealed he had a history of stalking, which led to restraining orders in the past. Insite’s surveillance operation assessed his pattern of life and the extent of his access to the shared professional complex and our client’s office. 2) Protect the target in the office and at her home. Within the first eight hours of our engagement, Insite deployed an armed protection agent to the client’s office and provided training to the analyst in the event she encountered her stalker.
Within six days, our team had provided evidence for a restraining order to protect the analyst. We conducted security surveys to identify vulnerabilities at both the office location and the employee’s residence. This led to a new set of physical security policies for the firm and heightened security awareness for all its employees.
Takeaways: Threats that emerge in real life are complex and can become acute at the most inconvenient times. Effective threat management requires a depth of knowledge across security disciplines and resources with a bias for action.