Company: Old West Bail Bonds
Years in Business: Escott has worked in private investigation for 20 years and has been a licensed private investigator for eight years. She became a bounty hunter in 2004 and a bail bondsman in 2006.
Equipment: Kevlar vests, guns, handcuffs, flashlight, binoculars, Tasers, pepper spray and disguises. “It’s also good to have cash with you if you have to bribe people. Sometimes you have to bribe people.”
Dangers: “The thing about bond recovery, you never know what you’re dealing with and you always have to be prepared... You may think it will be an easy arrest, but it can turn out that the person is very violent.”
Best Part: “The discovery process, not knowing what’s around the corner. It’s the most exciting and most dangerous part—not knowing.”
Recidivism: Many fugitives spend years in and out of jail; however, for others, an arrest can help put them on the right path. “Several people I’ve arrested contact me later and say, ‘Thanks for changing my life.’ That makes it all worth it for me.”
Family: When she’s not tracking down fugitives, Sandra spends time with her family. She is a wife, mother of two and grandmother of one.
Worst Part: “The worst part of the job is probably the boredom. It can get very frustrating. Also, everyone involved in a bond investigation is a liar and you have to automatically assume that everyone is lying to you…Trying to sift through all the disinformation can be very frustrating.”
Salary: The average fee for a bounty hunter is ten percent of the bond, although payment varies widely. “The closer you get to the court date, the more desperate the bondsman will become."