Thornton Research specializes in video surveillance for the insurance industry, self-insured corporations, law firms and government entities. Our objective with each case we accept is to provide clear documentation of clients' needs "on film". To accomplish this goal, Thornton Research utilizes a range of covert camera assemblies, body-worn recorders, microwave video-links, and long-range lenses. This equipment allows us to discreetly capture images of "surveillance aware" subjects and to operate in challenging environments where conventional equipment and techniques cannot be employed.

The foundation of Thornton Research's imaging capability is our pioneering use of Digital Video. The Digital Video (DV) format provides significantly better resolution, picture quality, and color reproduction over analog formats such as S-VHS, and Hi-8. More importantly, Digital Video is recorded in the same language as computers allowing it to be downloaded, saved, edited and transferred to other computers without image loss. Our development in this area enables us to offer now what is sure to become the future of surveillance technology. Using specially equipped laptop computers Thornton Research investigators are able to transmit surveillance images to clients moments after they are recorded. This allows our investigators to confirm identities and provide video/still reports while surveillance is in progress. In addition, our ability to extract stills from Digital Video offers clients and their legal team the strategic option to present surveillance images in either the still or video format.

All surveillance activity is performed or managed by the company's founder, Jonathan Thornton. Jonathan offers his background as a private investigator and Pulitzer-nominated photojournalist to provide clients with the relevant experience necessary for this specialized type of investigation. To safeguard clients' interests, all Thornton Research investigators adhere to a strict Code of Conduct.

Manned Surveillance

Manned surveillance includes the use of our investigators to covertly observe and record a subject's activity. All manned surveillance is conducted by fully licensed, bonded and insured private investigators trained in still and video imaging. To prepare for the surveillance, a pre-surveillance work-up and activity check is conducted to identify/verify important information about a claimant, their activities and environment. All video is taken from lawful vantagepoints and recorded in the Digital Video format. At the conclusion of a surveillance, video is transferred to any format requested by the client and delivered in both edited and unedited versions.

Unmanned Surveillance

Unmanned surveillance includes the covert deployment of remotely placed camera (or cameras) to document a scene without the presence of a human operator. Remote surveillance technology has proven effective when dealing with "surveillance aware" subjects in challenging operational environments. All equipment is deployed from lawful vantagepoints. At the conclusion of surveillance, video footage is delivered in both edited and unedited versions.

Aerial Surveillance

Aerial surveillance includes the use of an aircraft, a professional pilot and a Thornton Research investigator as a spotter. In many cases we can offer aerial surveillance as a more cost-effective and reliable alternative to multiple vehicle tails. In addition, aerial surveillance provides a discreet solution for following subjects through challenging environments where vehicular tails can be detected or evaded. For this reason aerial surveillance is recommended in cases where following a subject's movements is the primary objective.

Remote Tracking

Thornton Research offers remote tracking systems as a means of discreetly monitoring the movements of a person, vehicle, or asset. Our tracking systems use Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers and are capable of tracking an asset almost anywhere in the country and in many cases, the world. Typical uses include, monitoring restraining-order violations, unauthorized use of vehicles, custody issues, and tracking “surveillance aware” subjects. We offer two types of tracking systems: active and passive. New Mexico law permits the use of both devices on vehicles without an owner's consent as long as they are safely installed while the vehicle is parked on public property and the device does not invade the vehicle's electrical system.

Active Tracking System

Our active system employs a GPS receiver and wireless modem that enables real-time tracking of an asset by computer from a base location. This system allows our investigators to view an asset's current location at any given moment. The tracking device is approximately the size of a cell phone. It is entirely waterproof and can remain in operation for about eighteen hours. The device can be concealed beneath a vehicle in less than 30 seconds and is easily carried in a person's briefcase, backpack or book bag. This system has successfully provided real-time locations of a person in Quebec, Canada from New Mexico.

Hourly Rate: $20.00 per hour, 12-hour minimum, taxes not included.

Expenses: Long distance cellular charges may apply for cases outside of Santa Fe.

Passive Tracking System

Our passive tracking system employs a GPS receiver that records a position with date and time once every minute. Location and route information are only available to the investigator after the unit has been retrieved. After retrieval, positions are downloaded to a computer where information can be viewed on a map allowing the investigator to see where an asset has traveled, how long it stayed and what routes it took to get there. This unit is the size of a cell phone; completely waterproof and can remain in service for approximately thirty-six hours. Our investigators can attach this device to most vehicles in 5 to 30-seconds.

Hourly Rate: $10.00 per hour, 12-hour minimum, taxes not included.