When you help a loved one and bail them out of jail, it can feel like a kick in the gut when they suddenly disappear and don't show up for their court appointments. Since you will lose your money or property if the defendant fails to appear, locating the person is paramount to your financial health. Here are a couple of things you can do to find a bail-jumping defendant.
Scour Their Financial Accounts
If you have access to any of the person's financial accounts, you may be able to pick up their trail by reviewing their last few transactions. Banks typically provide a lot of details about where financial transactions occur, so you could potentially pinpoint the person's exact location based on where they used their debit or credit cards last.
For instance, bank statements will have the name of the store a purchase was made as well as the city and state the store is located in. If you know the person has friends in that area, then there's a good chance he or she is hiding out with one of them. You can discretely contact those people and enlist their help in apprehending the defendant.
Be aware, though, it may be illegal to access another person's credit card or bank statements without their permission, so consult an attorney for information about privacy laws in your area before you proceed.
Check Places Related to the Person's Needs or Interests
Another thing you can do is check in with places the defendant is likely to visit because of their needs or interests. People are creatures of habits, and there's a high chance the defendant will engage in the same or similar behaviors wherever they're located that they did at their previous residence. For instance, someone who drinks heavily will typically visit liquor stores to obtain their alcoholic beverages of choice. Thus, asking staff at those stores or doing stakeouts near businesses the person is most likely to visit may result in success.
Think about the person's wants and needs and make a list of places they are likely to visit to satisfy them. A person with a medical issue will eventually seek treatment, so write down the medical facilities they may go to get help. Someone with an obscure hobby will likely frequent specialty shops that cater to it. If you know the general area the defendant is located, checking places they are likely to visit can help you zoom in on their location.
For more tips on locating a bail jumper or information about bailing someone out of jail, contact a local bail bond company, such as Steele Boys Bail Bonds.