Using a Real-World Scenario to Gauge Your State Exam Readiness

The Illinois Private Detective and Private Security Contractor License Exams are only six days away. I've created this scenario to help you assess your understanding of the applicable criminal laws. 

Illinois Private Detective / Private Security Contractor License Exam Practical Scenario:

(Use your knowledge, experience, and accumulated prep tools to answer the questions.)


You are the Operations Commander of Elite Security and Investigations (ESI). Sunday, March 9, 2014, at 01:05 hours, you receive a call from ESI Shift Supervisor Lt. Jane Downing. Lt. Downing called to brief you regarding an incident that just occurred during the Saturday evening shift at a Mellow Manufacturing, Inc facility in Schaumburg. 


Your company (ESI) has a multi-year contract to provide 24/7 security and investigative services at Mellow Manufacturing, Inc. Your services include uniformed, fixed and moving security posts, staffing a 24/7 communication center (Comms), safety and security for MMI staff and direct communication with 911 during emergency situations, and an on-call internal investigations unit when requested. 

Mellow Manufacturing, Inc. (MMI) is a million dollar telecommunications/software company. MMI designs circuit boards and software used smart phones and other devices. MMI’s most valuable asset (aside from staff), is their intellectual property; which includes: software designs, patents, and marketing strategies. 

MMI’s facility in Schaumburg includes real property and assets spanning a 5 acre lot. MMI has a highly trained staff of 47. On weekends MMI staff typically is reduced 75% to about 7-10 people.


At 01:05 hours, Lt. Downing calls you and reports the following:

Saturday, at 23:45, Security Officer (SO) Martinez calls the ESI Comms Center via portable radio and speaks with SO French. Martinez reports finding an apparently abandoned White Chevy van parked next to the MMI perimeter fence. The van’s engine is off. There are no license plates on the van. The van appears to be unoccupied.  

The van traveled off the perimeter road and is in the ditch near the fence. The van located less than a foot away from the MMI chain link fence. SO French redirects the Comms Center video surveillance system for that area and sees that the van is barely visible due to it’s location and distance from the surveillance camera. 

SO Martinez cannot see inside the van from his location. SO French tells SO Martinez to standby at his location. The nearest access point (entrance/exit) is 0.5 miles away from the van. 

Next, at 23:51 hours, Ray Jefferson (MMI Overnight Supervisor) calls the Comms Center to report he received a call from an employee stating there’s a disturbance occurring in the ninth floor conference room - C902.  SO French asks Jefferson for more details about the nature of the disturbance, and Jefferson says he’s not sure. Jefferson adds that he’s on his way up there now and hangs up.  

SO French contacts Lt. Downing via radio and tells her about both incidents. Lt. Downing acknowledges the message and tells SO French to send SO’s Jackson, McDonough and Clevenger to the north floor disturbance. 

Next, SO Martinez contacts the Comm Center to report seeing a second vehicle suddenly turn its lights on and drive away at high speed in the opposite direction. The only description SO Martinez can provide is of a dark sedan with dual tail lights on each side.

SO Jackson is the first SO to arrive at the disturbance. He sees four people hovering over a person laying on the floor near conference room C902. SO Jackson also sees drops of blood on the floor near the apparent victim; who’s laying on the floor on her back. The victim, a female, appears to be unconscious. 

Supervisor Jefferson is also there. He is talking to staff trying to figure what happened. SO Jackson hears someone say the injured person is Software Engineer Marie Orlando. Two other unknown MMI staff are attending to Orlando. One is applying towels to Orlando’s nose and face area. The other is checking Orlando for vital signs and additional injuries.

Lt. Downing and the other SO’s arrive and begin asking questions and looking around. Next, MMI HR employee Jason Sung runs up to Lt. Downing and tells her there flashing strobe lights and loud alarm noises coming through a damaged and partially opened door that leads to the CEO’s inner office suite.

Lt. Downing contacts the Comm Center and asks SO French for a status of the Control Center alarm system. SO French tells Lt. Downing there are alarms and LED actuators flashing all over the control center board.

Lt. Downing and SO McDonough then run the 150 meters down the hall and around a corner to the CEO’s office where they see and hear alarms and flashing strobe lights. Lt. Downing sees that the CEO’s outer office door is damaged and that an office window appears to be widely open. Lt. Downing turns on the office lights and sees papers and file folders strewn about the desks, tables, and floor. Downing also sees file drawers open and a wall-mounted vault that appears to be damaged and opened. 

Lt. Downing stops in his tracks and uses his radio to contact SO French. He tells French to call the MMI emergency contact -MMI Operations Chief Andre Veronda.

Lt. Downing directs SO McDonough to stand guard the entrance of the CEO’s office and not allow anyone in until further notice.  

SO French then receives a transmission from SO Martinez reporting that the white van that was parked adjacent to the MMI perimeter fence has now disappeared. SO Martinez says it must have driven away when he left the location to drive to the access access point to get to the other side of the fence. SO French relays this information to Lt. Downing. 

SO French tells Lt. Downing Mr. Veronda has been called and is en route MMI with an ETA of 45 minutes. SO French Lt. Downing asks if the police should be called and Downing says negative. Not yet. Downing tells French to wait until Mr. Veronda arrives and he’ll let him know. 

At 00:40, Mr. Veronda arrives and meets with Downing and they both go into the CEO’s suite to look around. A few minutes later Veronda says that notes from a confidential file are missing. investigate. While looking around, Veronda says there are multiple, important company flash drives and other storage media missing. Veronda tells Downing he suspects MMI has become the victim of an intellectual property theft. 

Veronda asks Lt. Downing to describe everything that happened in the last hour before the incident was discovered. Veronda asks if the disturbance resulted in anyone being seriously injured or transported to the hospital. Lt. Downing says tells Veronda Ms. Marie Orlando was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Veronda pauses, and then says to Lt. Downing that he suspects the two incidents may be  somehow related.  Lt. Downing asks Veronda if the police should be called, and Veronda says no. Not yet. Veronda tells Lt. Downing he needs to speak to MMI CEO Miles Mason first—right away!

While attempting to reach Miles Mason, Veronda asks Lt. Downing if ESI could conduct a confidential, internal investigation regarding the apparent theft of valuable intellectual property. Lt. Downing says yes. Veronda then tells Lt. Downing okay, but to stand until Veronda’s speaks with Miles and their corporate counsel. (MMI has to weigh the significance of any public disclosures about the incident may have on the company.) 

Your Duties:

Among your duties as ESI Operations Commander is assisting your client in the manner that best serves their needs. In this case it appears MMI has the following immediate needs:

1.    Determine if the incident actually resulted in the loss of valuable intellectual property. 

2.    Determine the manner and method of the theft.

3.    If proven, ascertain if the loss was the result of accomplices within MMI.

4.    Assess and evaluate MMI’s current security system to determine what obvious flaws         contributed to the loss.

5.    Determine whether any employee background investigations factors contributed to the         incident?



1.    Type of security system used in this case?


2.    List examples of the difference between contract and proprietary security


3.    Based on your understanding of Illinois criminal law, list the types of offenses that         occurred in this incident. crimes that occurred:


4.    During an interview with ESI investigators MMI Software Engineer Todd Young             reluctantly admits he was paid $50,000 to strike Marie Orlando and create a diversion         which allowed others time to breach and disable the automated security system in the         CEO’s office. If true, what offenses could Young be charged with?


5.    After an extensive investigation by ESI detectives, CEO Miles Mason takes the             investigation findings and evidence to the state’s attorney for prosecution. Miles Mason         wants bribery charges against Todd Young and Marie Orlando. The MMI investigation         discovered evidence that Orlando and Young worked to together to create the diversion.         Both Young and Orlando were paid $50,000 each by a third party to create the diversion. 

    The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office presents the case to the Grand Jury and the         two are charged with felony commercial bribery. 

    Question: What type of statement is issued regarding their charges: indictment,             information or    complaint?


6.    Which of the three classifications best describes the criminal relationship between Young     and Orlando?    

            Solicitation    Conspiracy     Attempt

7.    If Young had acted alone when he hit Orlando to create the diversion which additional offenses could he be charged with? Assault,   Battery,     Obstruction of Justice,    Other

Answers coming on March 4th.