Second blog post in a day from me. New world record!
I saw an article recently regarding the ins and outs of surveillance. I wanted to share some things I’ve learned since I started doing this.
On the outset it may seem like surveillance is an easy job. Sit in a car all day recording covert video.
Some things you may not have known:
Relieving yourself becomes.. complicated. If you’re only doing 3 or 4 hours, that’s fine. Now try doing 12, or 24 hours consecutively. My longest surveillance was 28 hours straight. You drink 5 bottles of water. You will need more than 5 bottles to pee in. I know what you are thinking. Do your business in one, and open the door and get rid of it. This creates some problems, namely it lets people know you are there. I also don’t think the cops or a neighbor walking up would appreciate stepping on it. It’s also a bit gross. Now imagine #2. You can’t go to a gas station if you are alone. I guess I will keep it at “imagine”.
It is legal in almost every circumstance as long as you don’t have an expectation of privacy. Parking lots, streets, public places, sidewalks, and anything in between. What isn’t legal is going on someone’s private property and capturing video. You risk your license and may get fined or worse.
Every single PI in the world loses his or her subject in the field at one point or another. I tell every single client who calls me this. It doesn’t matter if you’ve followed 100 people, 1,000 people, or a million. You can’t always account for weather, fast drivers, random drivers (sudden lane changes, blowing through stop lights, etc) and a ton of other variables. Maybe they are aware of their surroundings and I need to be a few more cars back to maintain my stealth. All sorts of bad things can happen. Unless it’s a once in a lifetime event (rare), you can always go back and follow them another day. Which brings me to my next point..
Using two or more investigators.. Not every case needs one, but if it does.. it may mean the difference between a successful case and failing. By using two investigators it makes following the subject a heck of a lot easier. Decreases the chances of getting burned or made (they become aware of your activities) and the chances of losing them goes down dramatically.
Equipment costs can exceed $5,000. Laptop, smartphone, capable cameras and video cameras in day and night, and various other gear can really add up. Technology changes every day. In this field it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.
Being former FBI, loss enforcement, or any other government agency doesn’t necessarily make you a better surveillance investigator. I see lots of companies advertise this. Surveillance with a badge is much different than surveillance on the domestic or insurance side of things. Different people and situations. I’m not here to give them a bad name – just don’t automatically assume they will provide you a quality surveillance investigation just based on that.
Do you have any questions about Surveillance? Let me know below. Like, share, comment! Thanks.
If you need Surveillance in Wisconsin don’t hesitate to contact me at 262-443-6860.