A video camera, blackout curtains, and a car were the only requirements for senior Tyler Sechrist’s summer job. He spends most of his time at Hillsdale during the semester at the rock wall, with the Phi Mu Alpha boys, or running lights for theater productions. Sechrist’s summer work as a private investigator expanded his already varied list of accomplishments.
One of Sechrist’s closest friends, senior Joseph Harvey, said, “Tyler is very competent. He’s one of those people that just knows how to do everything.” He is so incredibly friendly and so good at putting people at ease. It didn’t surprise me that Tyler was working as a private investigator.”
Sechrist worked as a private eye for the past two summers at Superior Investigative, a company owned by his friend’s father.
“Private investigation sounds glamorous and fun, but it was mostly just insurance fraud,” Sechrist said.
Superior Investigative that Sechrist worked for received a lot of cases from insurance companies that needed help investigating worker’s compensation cases. Sechrist explained that the cases consisted of legitimately injured employees who got too comfortable with the money that they were receiving from their insurance. Some of them faked that the injury was taking longer to heal in order to receive more money. That’s where Sechrist came in.
“It was my job to sit at or around somebody’s house and try to get video of whatever they did throughout the day, especially anything that violated the injuries they were claiming to insurance companies,” Sechrist said.
Sechrist’s workday usually started around 6 p.m, when his company would email him the name of a person to investigate.
“I would get every bit of information that is publicly available about a person,” Sechrist said. “And believe it or not, that includes social security numbers, every address you’ve ever lived at, every car you’ve ever owned, and all of your relatives and their addresses.”
It was Sechrist’s responsibility to read the case, know where he had to be, and to drive there the next morning.
Sechrist said once at the location, “I would always find a discreet place where I can observe without being observed. So maybe I’m parked down the street in a group of cars or at the closest gas station parking lot.”
Then he would wait.
“I just have to sit there until I see the person who I’m trying to get footage of,” Sechrist said. “And then I go wherever they go. If they go into stores, I follow them into stores and I get video of whatever they’re doing, especially if it violates the restrictions they have with their injury.”
Sechrist said he’s not considering a career in the private eye field.
“It’s just a summer job for me. There’s a possibility that I might end up back in it a little bit, but the end goal is concert production design.”
Majoring in theater and art, Sechrist enjoys running the sound and production for the members of his music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, and works with the lighting department for all of Hillsdale College’s theater productions.
Senior John Szczotka, a fellow member of Phi Mu Alpha, described how Sechrist’s character helped him be successful as an investigator.
“He’s very dependable, very resourceful, and very industrious,” Szczotka said.
“Tyler is someone I can always depend on to help me out.”