Case Study -Theft in the Family Home leads to Polygraph Test in Durham

Nov 15, 2022 | Loss Prevention, Private Lie Detector Test

Our client chose one of the quickest ways to resolve a theft in the family home – a polygraph test in Durham. However this didn’t happen before a lot of suspicion had built up in a very short period of time.

Natasha’s story

Things had been going missing for a few months.  Clothes, shoes, jewellery, ornaments and money had disappeared. Initially Natasha thought she had misplaced the items. But as more and more vanished she began to suspect everyone. She didn’t mention it to Colin, her husband, for a couple of months. He might have thought she was losing her mind.

They were both busy people running their own fashion business.  Friends and family would often pop in to make sure the nanny was looking after their 3 year old twins properly.

Natasha found herself studying her sister’s clothes and shoes when she visited. Had she borrowed some items and forgotten to tell her?  When they were invited to friends’ houses for dinner she felt ashamed to be examining their ornaments and any jewellery they were wearing.  She was becoming paranoid.

The nanny

The last person in Colin and Natasha’s thoughts as a suspect was Tanya, their nanny.  She had come with impeccable references and all the normal background checks had been done. Over a year and she had proved herself indispensable.  They considered her a member of their family. Attentive to the twins’ every need, no one could wish for a better nanny than Tanya. Had a polygraph test in Durham been carried out as part of the pre-employment screening process they would have learned a lot more about Tanya than her qualifications, CV and references revealed.

However, the last straw came over Christmas.  Tanya had helped Natasha wrap gifts and put them around the Christmas tree.  It was agreed that they would all open the gifts after Christmas Day lunch.  Most of the family were invited and some friends.  Natasha meticulously made sure that everyone had three gifts each to open.

Missing gifts

After lunch they watched the twins open their gifts and then one y one distributed individual presents.  After everyone had opened their first gift, the second one was given. But when it came to the third some gifts were missing. Natasha was embarrassed but since nobody knew how many gifts had been prepared, no one but her was concerned.

In the kitchen, loading the dishwasher Natasha asked Tanya what on earth could have happened to the missing gifts.  Tanya had shrugged and said perhaps a mistake had been made. Maybe there weren’t 3 gifts per person. She couldn’t be exact because she hadn’t wrapped them all. Something in the way she said that made Natasha suspicious.

 Awkward moment

As the family settled down with ports and brandies, Natasha decided to discuss the problem. She knew it had the potential of ruining Christmas but it had to come out.

She explained about all the things that had been stolen over the past few months and about the missing gifts.  Colin was aghast that she was talking about it. He was even more stunned when she suggested that she would like all of them to take a polygraph test in Durham.  She made it clear that she wasn’t accusing them, but just eliminating them from any future police investigation.

Lie detector test in Durham

The reality was that Natasha only arranged one polygraph test in Durham for Tanya.  On Boxing Day she called everyone to let them know that she’d confronted the issue on Christmas Day to watch Tanya’s reaction. Tanya was unaware that she was the only person taking the test.

On the day of the test, Tanya told the examiner that she wanted to mention that she had borrowed one of Natasha’s necklaces to wear on a night out.  She still had the necklace and had forgotten to return it.  This was duly recorded and taken into account during the test.

The questions had been devised by the examiner and agreed with Natasha.  Tanya failed every one of them.


When confronted with the results Tanya showed no regret or remorse.  Colin and Natasha could have called the police but chose to just dispense with her services.  They informed the agency that had sent her to them and naturally refused to give her a reference.

Future nannies in their household will be subject to a polygraph test in Durham before taking the decision to engage them.

When it comes to entrusting employees with the care of your children and trusting them with your valuable possessions, make sure you get it right.  Lie detector tests will allow you to gain insight into the characters of candidates, something a CV and qualifications will never do.

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