Portrait of a sentimental crook

How does a person become a sentimental crook? Is it something that is in their nature? Is that person a victim of her environment? Is it a bit of both? The answer is a bit more complicated and it depends from case to case, but from my experience as a Romanian private detective, I think that there is definitely a pattern for most of the female sentimental crooks. In most of the cases the female sentimental crook is actually a victim of a male sentimental crook herself. In some cases the male is even her husband and he basically pimps his wife in order to make huge profits, capitalizing on his spouse’s emotional weakness but also on her physical qualities. In most of the cases the wife is very young and good looking, speaks a bit of English and is pretty emotionally instable. Most of the times we are talking about a woman that is too scared or lacks confidence that she could actually do something on her own. She is not a stupid individual at all, she is a very good actor and can learn things fast, but her emotional instability makes her husband mold her how he wants and programming her to do different tasks just like a robot.

Because the power of example is the best way to showcase such a situation I will present you two different cases that will have the main character a person that can become a sentimental crook. Both of the cases are real but I will not use any real names or data. The first case is inspired from my experience as a director of a Romanian private detective agency and the second one from a real life story that I’ve encountered outside of the private detective business.

The main actors of the first case are Laura and George. Laura is a very good looking blonde in her early 20s, she lives in a remote village about 80 kilometers south of Bucharest. She comes from a poor background and even though she is very beautiful her future doesn’t looks very bright. She lacked a lot of things growing up and she always hoped to get away from that environment. Her father is an alcoholic that was never around and her mother is working in Italy since Laura was a little girl, like probably hundreds of thousands of children her age, she grew up with her grandparents in an old country house that other then electricity didn’t had any other utilities. George is in his early 30s, unlike Laura, he never had to worry about much, even though his parents were not rich, they always offered him whatever he wanted. He lived all of his life in an apartment situated in a ten floor apartment building built in the communist era.

All the Bucharest neighborhoods are filled with this “American section 8 public housing projects” looking buildings. George is used with having things his way and most important having money all the time. After finishing college, the average salary of 400–500 euros per month was not something that would satisfy his needs, especially if you have a passion for gambling. George was spending all his weekends and summer vacations at his grandparent’s house in the village where Laura was living. He didn’t notice Laura when he was spending time there, because she was too young back then. But as soon as she grew, Laura was very easy to notice, a very beautiful girl that was for George first of all an asset that could make a lot of money. George was for Laura, the prince that came on a white horse to save her. He would make an impression every time he was coming to the village, clean cut, dressed on the latest fashion, driving his foreign car on the dirt roads. In no time, George took Laura to live together with him in his apartment. Even though the place was far from a luxurious one, to Laura it looked like a Manhattan penthouse. After she moved to Bucharest, they’ve went in a trip to Greece, but in this “vacation” Laura danced at strip clubs and occasionally prostitute under her “boyfriend’s” supervision. When they got back to Romania, George convinced Laura that a breast enhancement operation will make her look better and also could make her make a lot of money without making any prostitution at all. He found out about this new thing that some people from the neighborhood were doing. A girl like her could make some decent money from Video Chat and they could make a lot of money if they will find the right person and she will follow his instructions. It didn’t took long until they’ve found a victim that bought her a 150 000 euros apartment, gave over 50 000 euros in gifts and cash. Even after the client found out from our private detectives that he was the victim of a sentimental crook,  he still bought her a brand new BMW 3 series after a couple of months. Most of the sentimental crooks have a back-up story in the case they private detectives might tell the true to the victim. The story is usually about her/them being the victims of a criminal organized group or the girl being under the influence of her pimp and she just has to make a bit more money in order to free herself from him. Even if the victim has proofs from the detective agency that they actually live together as a couple, most of the victims are so in love with the crook that they buy the story and in some cases continue to send more money or other goods. From this type of scam the crooks can make the biggest profits, it usually involves at least one real encounter with the victim, in order to cement the ‘relationship” and help raise the profits. With other types of scams they might not make very big profits. For example saying that they or somebody close to them is suffering from a disease might work or not. From my experience I’ve seen that “love” can make a lot more money than compassion.

The second story is about a girl in her mid 20s, named Dana, again a very beautiful girl, but this time we are not talking about a person that was a victim of her environment. She grew up in a central area of Bucharest and even though her parents were not rich, she had a normal family, had access to education and she had the life experiences of a normal good looking girl. I am not excluding the fact that she was good looking, because a girl that is attractive in most males’ eyes, is going to build herself a kind of a defense mechanism against the men that will try to get to her. So from a young age a girl like that will set herself standards like: I date only good looking guys or I date only financial potent guys. In her case, unlike Laura, she was looking just for a good looking guy close to her age. She got, what most girls will call, a pretty boy, but her blue eyed boy was not looking at her like she was a gorgeous princess, but as a normal girl that supposed to have a career and a purpose in life. Even though she was never picky about her jobs and worked as a supermarket cashier and other similar jobs while going to college, she had a passion of her own wanting to be a professional theatre make-up artist. This passion of hers was silly to her boyfriend and most of her close entourage, most of whom were telling her that she should pursuit a real career in order to make something of herself in life. After about five years her boyfriend dumped her and moved on with his life. Even though any heterosexual man would love to have her, Dana needed a bit of time for herself. Feeling that she has lost a lot of time while being with her ex boyfriend, she tried to prove that she was not just a pretty bimbo and that she could actually achieve something on her own, but not the way she wanted to, the way her ex boyfriend thought that a “normal woman” would succeed in this society. After a while she got a job selling cosmetic products in a shopping mall outside Romania, more exactly in Dublin, Ireland. It was the perfect opportunity for her, even though the salary was very low and there were basically no prospects for this job, it was a chance for her to get outside Romania and forget about her love problems. Ireland was not exactly the dream vacation for her in the beginning, due to the fact that she was not making basically any money and the weather was not exactly making her smile everyday. But a young, pretty girl, alone in Ireland was not going to be unnoticed for a long time. That’s when John comes into play. John is in his early 40s, working for a huge corporation, never had financial problems and even though he was the kind of guy that was posting duck face selfies on his Facebook account, he was also passionate about breeding Rottweilers. At his age, Dana was the perfect trophy girl that he could get: a young and very beautiful girl that had no family in Ireland and judging by her current job was not in a great financial situation either. Knowing that it will not take long until Dana will leave Ireland, because of the lousy payment and not so extraordinary weather, John, offered her an “au pair” job, meaning that she basically supposed to move in with him and just walk his dogs from time to time. Even though it was not a real job and the fact that John was basically just wanting to get Dana living with him was more than obvious. She didn’t judge with her broken hearth this time, but with her brain. Even though John was in his 40s, he was what most women would call an attractive man, single and with a good financial situation. Living in a community that resembled a bit the American suburbs, with a driveway and a bit of lawn in front of the house and big backyard, the house was like an American movie set for young Dana. So even if she didn’t felt love for John, she thought that a quiet life in an Irish community where people don’t even have gates in front of their driveways, where she basically just had to walk some dogs and make trips to the ocean every weekend was almost like a dream and it was something that she already had. Chasing her dream of becoming a make up artist and make it on her own, would probably mean to go back to Romania and try to fight and work hard to build her career. She never understood anyway why an older friend of hers left the comfort of a developed country and came from the other side of the world to become an actor in Romania.

The obvious question that will come to the readers mind will be, how is the second case connected with the first one and how on earth do the second case has anything to do with profiling a sentimental crook. If the first story is clearly about an old case encountered in my experience as a Romanian private detective, the second one was clearly not, but it will help me make a parallel and show that there is a potential sentimental crook in most of us and that most of the times there is just an ingredient missing from a relationship that might turn it into a profitable business.

In both of the cases there is just a symbiosis between the two partners, in the first case Laura needs George in order to get out of her environment and George needs Laura to make profits from her good looking body. In the second case Dana needs John in order to move to a better environment and George needs Dana for her beautiful body in order to prove himself to him and his entourage that he can still get an exotic younger eastern European girl. The two cases are actually very similar, the only ingredient that is missing is the need for money of the male subject, that’s when the victim of the sentimental crook will appear and an outsider will most likely lose a lot of time, money and emotions until he will eventually hire a private investigator to discover the truth.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to look very far in order to spot a potential sentimental crook, it could be one of your friends, a neighbor or even you. If somebody is involved on what supposed to be a love relationship that is actually based only on a symbiosis and no true feelings at all, then that person is a sentimental crook that has only one victim.

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