Fixed surveillance is better known as a “stakeout,” where investigators or officers will observe suspects from a distance for as long as it takes to acquire the evidence needed. Stakeouts are often paired with vehicle surveillance, where an investigator will follow the suspect or suspects around in a car, seeing where they go and what they do in their vehicles. Often once the investigator has determined a place where the suspect often goes, they will set up a stakeout in the place to see exactly what it is they do there. Many times a stakeout is set in place to check on a child who is in a shared custody situation. Unfortunately children are not always in a safe situation.
Its important to pay attention to where locals congregate and how they act – this is extremely important for blending in later when you possibly need to be there all day. If you have to, pack several changes of clothes for a variety of occasions – a swimsuit for the beach, a fancy dress or suit for a nice restaurant, or simply two or three different casual outfits to better disappear into the crowds. People can recognize an outfit they’ve seen that day even if it was hours ago, and that may be enough to get you busted if the suspect is particularly paranoid.
Working with a Partner
One step that can make or break a stakeout is to have a partner stake out the suspect with you. In a stakeout, it is imperative that someone have eyes on the suspect at all times, and this is extremely difficult to accomplish with only a single investigator, even a diligent one. Two pairs of eyes are better than one when watching for suspicious activity, and for long stakeouts investigators can trade shifts so that one can rest while the other watches.
Choose a Good Cover Story
Each investigator involved in the stakeout needs a cover story. A nosey neighbor, security officer, store employee, or simply someone in the crowd who has noticed you having been in one area for a while may ask you what you are doing ,and you need to come up with a satisfactory answer for them. In addition to a believable story, it may be a good idea to bring along a few props, such as a dog to walk (or just the leash; your dog ran away and you are looking for it,) business or realtor cards, or ask a friend or colleague to be ready to meet up with you if you need them to make it seem like you were waiting for them. Be aware however that people who live in the same community often recognize the people who live nearby them.
The most important part of a stakeout is of course the collection of data and evidence on your subject. If you do not have some way to record information, your stakeout is all but worthless. Voice recorders, hidden cameras, and written notes are all ways that you can record what is happening around you, and the area where you are. Taking note of house numbers, license plates on vehicles, and quick descriptions of any contacts your subject may have is important. If suspicion is aroused, it may be prudent to end the day’s investigation, or to pick it up elsewhere. You never know if the old lady next door is a friend or accomplice of your suspect and it is best not to make them suspicious of you if you don’t have to.
If you’re looking for a “Professional Investigator,” don’t hire a company that does PI work part-time. Hire a LICENSED, BONDED, INSURED, and PROFESSIONAL company with a team of dedicated professionals that possess decades of law enforcement experience in: Civil & Criminal investigations; Interview & Interrogations; Mobile & Static Surveillance; and excellent written/oral communication. Each investigator has a proven track record and consistently strives to exceed client expectations delivering results. The Private Eyes, Inc. team covers the entire state of North Carolina and more.
Private Eyes, Inc. meets all state-mandated requirements under the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) issued by the Private Protective Services Board (PPSB). Private Eyes, Inc. complies with relevant North Carolina law, Private Protective Services N.C.G.S. 74-C, and the Board’s Administrative Rules and Regulations under Private Protective Services 14B N.C.A.C. 16. to carry out investigations statewide.
For questions about a surveillance call a specialist today for a Free Consultation 866.PRI.EYES (774.3937) | Call Today!