Though glamorized as dangerous and physical (it most certainly can be at times), a bounty hunter’s job has many other aspects. More commonly referred to as a recovery agent, a bail recovery agent, or a fugitive recovery agent, this profession requires a lot of expertise with investigation and research, as well as the ability to handle a physical altercation. Within the bail community, a person who jumps bail is frequently called a “skip,” as in they “skipped” out on bail and it’s the job of this agent to capture them.
First officially recognized by the Supreme Court in 1872, the bounty hunter was granted a great deal of freedom in contrast to other law enforcement. They were allowed to travel and make arrests all over the United States, not bound by jurisdiction, and were often awarded from capturing a fugitive by the notorious “dead or alive” decree. In those days, many police officers, sheriffs, or marshals found they were able to earn a more lucrative living capturing fugitives and collecting bounties. However, the profession was far more dangerous in the past.
In modern law enforcement, the recovery agent has more oversight and a more involved process. Essentially employed by bail bonds agencies, but also able to receive bounties for any fugitive, these agents are frequently staffed as bail recovery personnel or have a group of bondsman through which they provide freelance services. Most frequently the recovery agents rely on the information gathered by the bondsman to track and locate the “skip.”
INVESTIGATING AND TRACKING
The recovery agent will be privy to all contact and personal information of the fugitive. Furthermore, these agents act like private investigators, by visiting current and previous addresses, places frequented, and past employment locations, as well as interviewing family, friends, and any co-signers of the bond. One trick commonly employed is to use the first 3 numbers of the “skip’s” social security number to identify the state of region it was issued, which can often produce a lead. Though it may be enticing to run to avoid jail time and further expenditures, these agents are professionals for a reason. Along with knowledge and experience, these are well-connected individuals, often with contacts on both sides of the law. The best ones will insists that they “always get their man.” Thoughts? Facebook / Twitter.
November 3, 2015 / Ryan Serey