Bert Croom’s journey as a private investigator started in high school. As a teen, Bert became a cadet with the Wilmington Police Department, where he spent his evenings running fingerprints at the department’s front desk. He then became an officer in 1979, and over the next 17 years moved his way up the ranks to Tabor City’s chief of police. In 1994, Bert retired from the police force and returned to Wilmington. He decided to then turn his experience in law enforcement into a new career as a private investigator, and he’s been helping people discover the truth ever since. Performing a background check clearly is part of his second nature.

Croom and his team tackle all sorts of domestic cases, including child custody, divorce, alienation of affection, and cohabitation. No matter the situation, running a thorough background check is the first step in every single investigation. Bert’s crew can dig a little deeper than many other private investigators in town, simply because of the access to multiple databases he has acquired over the years.

“Most everyone can do a regular comprehensive search, but we also check DMV records, federal records, and criminal records for every state. We can see if you’ve been to the pawn shop or if you’ve had any contact with law enforcement,” says Croom.

“I’ve been doing this stuff for 24 years, so I’m striving every day to get better information and be able to provide it to our clients.”

Although other private investigators may have the ability to pull information from the same databases, Croom says that the cost of doing so is something that deters most of them. Fortunately, Croom has had enough work coming through the office over the years to be able to afford the expense that come with having access to so many databases.

“We probably have about 10 different databases that we use, and they each give us such an amazing amount of information,” says Croom. “When somebody’s going to come in here to see me, I’ll go ahead and run their name before they arrive, and I’ll know most everything before they even tell me. I want to know who’s coming in and see what kind of information we’ll be getting. The information you get back from the searches far outweighs the cost of running these things.”

Croom believes that having the ability to run such far-reaching background checks makes cases go much smoother. The knowledge they provide is vital in instances such as setting up clandestine surveillance or monitoring social media accounts.

“I’m a fact finder. Knowledge is worth its weight in gold, because the person with the knowledge is normally going to be the winner,” says Croom.

Croom strives to treat every case with the understanding that it’s the most important thing in the world to happen to that person. Whether a client is going through a divorce, has been arrested, or is a victim of a crime, it’s going to be one of the most significant things that’s ever occurred in their life. Croom says that he and his team therefore put as much attention to detail as possible into each and every case.

“If you need something, and I know that you really need it, then we’re going to help you out. I’m not going to let you walk out of here with nothing,” says Croom. “We’re going to look out for you, because that’s just what we do.”

Written by Annesophia Richards