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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 01, 1976
- Vol. 6
- No. 18
Doug Poth, 14, is a licensed private eye who works with his father, mother and older brothers in a family-owned detective agency in Seattle. Doug began his sleuthing career at 3 when his father, an ex-police officer, took him along on a case, reasoning that a man with an infant wouldn't look like a detective. "There's no age limit and no special qualifications required," says Poth, explaining how his son could obtain a license at such a young age. Poth adds, "And that's a shame." The state of Washington, unlike most states, does not require a written exam for a detective license. Poth's complaint about the lax rules, however, has not prevented him from making good use of Doug. The boy has helped out on many cases, from searching for a kidnapped child to tracking down stolen TVs and appliances. He once gained entrance to a suspect's house by politely asking if he could use the bathroom. Though a little worried that publicity will "blow his cover," Doug enjoys being something of a celebrity at school. "My friends think my job is pretty neat," he says. "I really like this work. It's interesting and exciting and I travel a lot. I'm planning to go on with it—that is, unless I could get into major league baseball."
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