Private Investigator Surveillance Training Series #3
I have been very eager to start the 3rd series of this surveillance blog. Although I have lots of information to share, I will most likely not remember everything and there are many more hints and tips that I will pass along in addition to this.One of the most important things to remember in this industry is that there is always someone who knows more or has a different technique that works for them. The tips I give you will work for everyone. I have tested my techniques numerous times over the years with great success.
|Can you see the driver?|
Ideally I would suggest having all of your side windows and back window tinted with limo tint; I believe it is 5%. If that is not feasible, you can cover your back windows with black construction paper or black thin foam that can be purchased from a craft or fabric store like Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Many investigators don’t want a ticket for having their front windows tinted at 5%. To avoid the ticket they will have their front side windows tinted at 15% which provides a decent amount of window coverage.
#1. Someone sitting in a car for a minimum of 8 hours in a neighborhood they do not belong in draws unwanted attention. If that can not see someone in the vehicle, it may be less of a worry to neighbors.
#2. Any investigator needs to be capable of rolling video at a moments notice without having to worry about someone seeing them do it. Tinted windows provide that privacy that investigators need.
#3. The new investigator will love the security of tinted windows. There are many neighborhood situations that will feel uncomfortable to any investigator. Tinted windows help to make an investigator feel more secure.
ONE MORE THING: Buy a front window shade for you window. I don’t care where you live, you will need your front window covered from time to time while rolling video so you are not discovered.
WHAT NEXT? SET UP ON THE RESIDENCE AND FIND A GOOD SURVEILLANCE POSITION.
|WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER WHEN SETTING UP A POINT OF OBSERVATION?
There are a variety things to consider when setting up your surveillance position. I will start with a few basics and add some advanced tips as well.
A rule of thumb that I will try to stick with is parking at least 5 houses away from the residence you are watching. This keeps you far enough away from the person you are watching that your vehicle is not noticeable when the person exits the residence. You don’t want your vehicle to even exist in the mind of the person your watching. This is especially helpful when the person leaves there home and you have to follow them.
If you are parked close enough to the residence you can watch the residence through your side or rear view mirror.
If you park too far from the residence you may want to face your vehicle towards the residence if possible make sure you don’t miss any activity.
If a surveillance position is not possible with a view of the residence, try to determine what route the majority of the neighbors are taking to leave the area. The person you are watching will likely do the same.
(TIP) We are creatures of habit. We take our kids to school, we go to work, we go to the gym, etc… If you figure out the routine of an individual, this will give you more surveillance position opportunities away from the residence if you can’t be close (for what ever reason).
Don’t start your vehicle unless you plan to either follow the person you are watching or you plan on explaining to a neighbor why your vehicle is running. If it is cold you need to bring a blanket. If you have to start you vehicle, try to be far enough away that you presence in the area does not get back to the person you are watching.
What do you do if you need to park in an awkward position in a neighborhood? My best advice would be to park in between homes. Each neighbor will think that your car has something to do with their neighbor. As long as you are not noticed within the vehicle you should be fine
Ideally you want to have the best view of the residence possible without compromising the investigation or surveillance.
A FEW SURVEILLANCE TIPS
- Use a tripod or mono pod when videotaping for insurance investigations. The use of a tripod allows for steady long distance documentation.
- Bring plenty of food and water. You never know what you day will be like or how long it will last.
- If you feel like a neighbor is calling the police on you, call the police and let them know you are out there. If you don’t call, police may come to your vehicle and that is not the attention you want.
- Stay in your vehicle! Some neighbors will get hostile that you are in the area. You will find that people typically think the reason you are in the area has something to do with them. On the same note, if the person you are watching catches on to you, stay in your vehicle and get out of the area.
Future topics to be covered are: Pretexting, Moving Automobile Surveillance techniques (Following someone), How I got started (My story), How to get into the industry, How to start your own agency, and helpful iPhone apps for the investigator.