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Brainstorm a Way to Track Down a Car Owner
Old 10-22-2015, 02:32 PM   #1
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Brainstorm a Way to Track Down a Car Owner

In my book, a time-traveling jewel thief has purchased a vintage Porsche on Craigslist. She has a fake driver's license and a fake license plate. She is renting a house anonymously from a landlord who thinks she's growing dope (rent is very high).

The private eye main character is trying to find her. At one point, he sees her in the Porsche. He checks all the craigslist Porsche sales, and finds the guy who sold it to her.

I need ideas for a credible way for him to figure out where she lives. I wanted to have someone hack into the DMV records, but because she has a fake driver's license, she couldn't register it with the DMV (or could she?).

My current idea is that he stakes out a road near where he saw her, and eventually sees her go by.

But I'd like something better.

Ideas?

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
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When I was on the road, twice I found hit-and-run vehicles by simply driving around on residential streets within a few miles of where the collisions happened.

While time-consuming (I did that when nothing else was going on) it does work. Staking out the road where hit-and-runs occurred also worked for a couple of other officers I worked with. People tend to keep their routes and schedules the same.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:16 PM   #3
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Go to the "classic car repair shop," ask them if they know "the beautiful blonde in the red 911," and bribe him to get her address.

I'm guessing the number of shops may be limited because in the future the expertise will be for Telsas, not classics.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:01 PM   #4
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Ask the gas station attendants in the area the PI saw her. They won't forget the car and likely wouldn't forget her either. She probably pays cash for her gas so your guy would have to stake out the place.


Or have the PI see a friend of his at the DOT. They can run a search for video of all of the red porches that the cameras pick up.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:14 PM   #5
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Check with the local repair shops. A vintage Porsche will need maintenance soon and often. Can't fake that. Send me her picture, I might be willing to "service" her car. Dang, I just remember, you just write fiction.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:31 PM   #6
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This is not very exciting, but I have discovered that there are databases out there that will list owners/addresses just from doing a VIN search. I am not sure how prevelent this is, but it's a little bothersome to me.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:07 PM   #7
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Excellent, thanks. The repair shop gave me the idea I needed:
Her mistake had been in buying a distinctive Porsche. One from her own era. I’d investigated every sale of a vintage Porsche 911 in the Bay Area. The break came when I interviewed a guy who’d sold his silver 911 on Craigslist to a woman with an interesting accent. “She was like Natasha in the flying squirrel cartoons, you know? Like, ‘Must get moose and squirrel, Dahlink.’ She had a bandage over her nose as if she’d been fighting over wedding dresses.”

The color threw me off at first. At the Crossfit gym, I’d seen her in a maroon Porsche. So, my stable of assistants, managed by Peggy, fanned out and located a shop that had painted a 911 on November fifteenth, just one day after the purchase. Old color, silver. New color, maroon.

The address she gave the shop turned out to be a fake, but they did have her cell phone number. I bribed them to call her and set up a free touch-up and detailing appointment. She came in and I followed her home.
One problem I have is I'm always coming up with references that only someone our age would get. Hopefully, younger people have been exposed to Rocky and Bullwinkle.

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Old 10-22-2015, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Great. The repair shop gave me the idea I needed:
Her mistake had been in buying a distinctive Porsche. One from her own era. Id investigated every sale of a vintage Porsche 911 in the Bay Area. The break came when I interviewed a guy whod sold his silver 911 on Craigslist to a woman with an interesting accent. She was like Natasha in the flying squirrel cartoons, you know? Like, Must get moose and squirrel, Dahlink. She had a bandage over her nose as if shed been fighting over wedding dresses.

The color threw me off at first. At the Crossfit gym, Id seen her in a maroon Porsche. So, my stable of assistants, managed by Peggy, fanned out and located a shop that had painted a 911 on November fifteenth, just one day after the purchase. Old color, silver. New color, maroon.

The address she gave the shop turned out to be a fake, but they did have her cell phone number. I bribed them to call her and set up a free touch-up and detailing appointment. She came in and I followed her home.
One problem I have is I'm always coming up with references that only someone our age would get. Hopefully, younger people have been exposed to Rocky and Bullwinkle.


"Our age"? I am ONLY 41 and am quite familiar with the references you are making.

Very much off subject, but in class today (law school...full of 22-23 year olds), the professor made mention about Harrison Ford and lots of the students had NO IDEA who he was!!!
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:57 PM   #9
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>"Our age"? I am ONLY 41 and am quite familiar with the references you are making.

Did you see reruns of the old Rocky Flying Squirrel cartoons when you were a kid? The show was on through1964.



Neither my daughter nor her boyfriend knew who Howard Hughes was.
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