Jon Grow, A Tribute


Jon Grow, a Tribute


Jon Grow, co-founder of the National Association of Bunco Investigators (NABI) and recognized expert investigating confidence crimes, died on September 30, 2012 at his home in Parkton, Maryland of Pancreatic Cancer. He was 70 years old. Jon was a dedicated public servant having worked with the Baltimore City Police Department as a Detective for 28 years before retiring in 1992 to focus his energy on the daily operations of NABI, the non-profit organization he co-founded in 1984. NABI, the first and only organization of its kind, is remarkable among law enforcement professionals for its ability to assist law enforcement in the identification, apprehension and prosecution of confidence crime suspects and transient criminals who perpetrate scams, utility imposter burglaries and other crimes. NABI shares information among investigators nationwide in order to track and apprehend traveling and transient criminals and con artists-- a transient criminal population that preys primarily on the elderly.

Mr. Grow was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to Bettie Hamilton Grow and Joseph Albert Grow, Jr. He graduated from Tamaqua High School in Pennsylvania in 1960. He joined the Air Force and served in the Air Police from 1960 to 1964. In 1964, he began his career at the Baltimore City Police Department where he worked in Burglaries and became interested in investigating con games and transient criminals. He, along with a handful of other police officers across the country, recognized that the same criminal networks were perpetrating the crimes from state to state, then leaving town before they could be apprehended or before warrants for their arrest from neighboring states could be determined. NABI was created as an effort to share information to track and more effectively prosecute confidence criminals. The pursuit of justice was Mr. Grow's life work.

"My father always said he was the luckiest man in the world because he stumbled into a profession that he loved," said his daughter, Jennifer. "I'm glad his legacy will continue as his work is being handed off to other NABI members who as dedicated as my father."

Mr. Grow's influence was wide as he conducted informational seminars across the country. He was often sought for his expertise in the field, and quoted in national publications and featured on programs such as Dateline NBC and the Today Show. He shared his in-depth knowledge with other investigators to alert them to the movement of particular crime families and networks, and to teach them the particulars of certain con games that criminals use regularly to steal thousands of dollars from the elderly and the unsuspecting. Over the course of his career Mr. Grow received many commendations and certificates of appreciate from law enforcement organizations across the country for his long history, dedication, and contributions to the safety of our communities.

In 1991, he moved to his beloved farm house in Parkton. He lived modestly and enjoyed simple pleasures. For many years he was a water safety instructor at Pennland Pool, a community pool in Freeland. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and planning family reunions, tending his bountiful garden, playing cards with friends, and hosting an annual Christmas open house where he served homemade eggnog that took him hours to prepare.

Mr. Grow is predeceased by both parents and his brother, David Grow. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer Grow of Baltimore, his son, Jeffrey Grow of Shrewsbury, PA, his granddaughter, Cecilie Amspacker of New Freedom, PA, his grandson, David Grow, of Shrewsbury, his sister Susan Grow Leiby and his brother-in-law Byron Leiby of Tamaqua, PA, and his step-mother Joice Grow of Chattanooga, TN. Mr. Grow is also survived by his large extended family including several nieces and nephews, many cousins and their spouses and families.

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