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April 8, 2011

Notarizing a kidnapper

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 6:50 am

Notarizing a potential kidnapper

I had no evidence either way, I was just doing my job.  It was a dark night in Rosemead, CA, when I had just finished notarizing a grant deed for some old customers of mine when the phone rang. It was a company that I enjoyed working for that I hadn’t heard from for a while. They had a notarization for me in the neighboring city of Monterey Park. That is usually a safe place to be at night. What they didn’t tell me was that the client was a suspected kidnapper. I guess the company company who dispatched this job to me doesn’t include “Are you a kidnapper” on the list of questions they ask clients. I tried to call the location before I went there, but the phone number was incorrect. It was close, so I wasn’t too concerned. It was only ten minutes away, and practically on my way home. When I got to the venue, it was a run down motel with only six units. I was to go to unit #5. I knocked on the door, and a very nervous and agitated man in his 30’s answered the door. He seemed very bony, like he hadn’t eaten in weeks. His eyes were wild and deep set, and he was very frenetic. As I looked around the smoke filled room I noticed that there were seven people in the two room suite which included a kitchenette. Two elderly ladies were in a bed. I asked him who he needed to have notarized. He said he needed a power of attorney from his mom. His mother only had a thirty year old Mexican passport. Nobody else in the room had ID to be a credible witness except for the man I was working with who was the beneficiary. I told him that I couldn’t legally notarize his mother under those circumstances. Then, he pleaded with me and offered me lots of cash which he had laying on the table next to his overflowing ashtray, half empty beer bottles, and packs of cigarettes. Then he told me about the family feud he was in and how he was accused of kidnapping his mother. At that point, I started getting nervous. I told him that he should consult a lawyer. He said he was running out of cash and couldn’t afford to see a lawyer. They seemed like they were on the run. I told him I couldn’t legally help him. He continued to plead looking very desperate and distraught. Finally I had to apologize and leave.

This was one of the spookiest notary calls I have ever gone out on.  I just wonder what their real situation was, and if they were really running for the law.  There is no way to know. You can’t question someone in that condition or they might lose their cool. I guess they were probably illegal judging from the lack of proper identification. Thank god nothing happened.


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  1. I would have called the cops after I left. Way too scary.

    Comment by Robin — April 8, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

  2. I’m not trying to sell anything here but I will tell you one thing about this situation. When you want to refer someone to an attorney most people, especially like this, don’t have the meney to hire one anyway. So I use PrePaid Legal services… Yes, I do earn a commission if they join. But it’s one of the best and only ways someone can get free consultations with attornies in any area of the law. I have the business membership for my Notary practice and it has a lot of benefits for anyone in business. I have been with them since 1997 and since the down economy wiped out most of my Notary refi work I have earned more from PPL than from my Notary practice.. and I’m still a somewhat busy Notary from old clients who won’t use anyone else if I’m available. I’ve been listed on 123notary for about 8 years now and I do know a bit about this subject. Hope it helps.

    Comment by Wayne Hamilton — May 1, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  3. This was not a humorous story. If anything, it illustrates the potential risks of working with total strangers.

    Within the last week, a real estate agent in NW Indiana was just doing her job and was gang-raped in the early afternoon when she went to show a house to two men who made the appointment. The same thing — or worse — could have happened to you. The description of the man in the hotel room — bony, wild-eyed, agitated — suggests you may have been in an unstable person, such as an addict, meth house or other setting for drug use or distribution.

    I know you were doing your job, but meeting a stranger in a motel room is very risky. The moment your gut told you something wasn’t right, that was the time to stop, pull over, and call the person/company who engaged you. Explain the circumstances and, if necessary, decline the assignment or ask that the matter be postponed until morning when you can meet with the client outside the motel room.

    If it is absolutely necessary to meet a questionable client at night, one suggestion is to have them meet you at the lobby of a police station. Hospital or emergency room lobby, where hospital guards are nearby. Regardless of the time of day or purpose for your services, always exercise caution when working with strangers and always listen to your gut..

    Comment by Andrea Migliore — December 9, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  4. It takes a strong person to ignore instinct and common sense and not inform the police of a possible abduction. Its almost scary the fate of that poor mother. Wonder how long she lived after he got that document signed. (Opinion) lol
    But pat your self on the shoulder, your street credit just went up a notch.

    Comment by Anthony Massey — February 20, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  5. Sadly, there are notaries who would have taken the cash and falsified a notarial certificate, no problem.

    Comment by Cheryl R Kaster — December 21, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

  6. Just happened on this interesting story, and since it is still getting reviews, I thought I’d contribute mine. The story, while entertaining and instructive, is clearly an attempt at fiction. This might not be readily apparent to those who do not work in this genre. But I write fiction, too, and it is quite apparent to me. Indeed, perhaps one has to be a notary/fiction writer to pick them out, but I counted seven “dead giveaways” intentionally or unintentionally packed into this account which clearly mark it as fiction. No offense taken at this. It was a good teaching tool. I enjoyed it much. By midway through I was ROTFL. It would be a great entry for a new category: “Notary Noir.”

    Comment by Gregory — March 21, 2017 @ 1:13 am

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