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Private Investigator Surveillance Tips

An essential part of a private investigator’s job is doing surveillance.  Mostly, these private investigators do surveillance from their own vehicles.  Along the way, these private investigators have learned some tricks of the trade.  Among them are those outlined below:

1.      A tinted glass is an essential feature for a private investigator.  Have your vehicle’s windows tinted so you can sit back and be virtually unnoticed anywhere you go. 

2.      When tailing in heavy traffic areas, private investigators must stay on the trailed vehicle’s bumper.  As there are too many stoplights and there is heavy traffic in city areas, you must remain very close to the trailed vehicle in order not to lose sight of it. 

3.      Private investigators sometimes verify a name or an address by checking out the mailbox or peeking at a mail that is sticking out. 

4.      Private investigators can determine whether residence is a single or multi-family home by the number of electric meters. 

5.      Private investigators must be very careful when tailing someone.  The golden rule is to never lose sight of that person.  

6.      A private investigator must always have a pen, paper or voice recorder anywhere he or she goes.  A pen and paper is essential in taking down notes that may be very useful for clients.  

7.      As it is very difficult to estimate a height of an individual – whether male or female – private investigators usually try this trick:  you can compare the individual’s height to any object near them.  You can use a door perhaps, or maybe even a nearby car (or the ones they are using, for that matter).

8.      It is inevitable for private investigators to use a video – however, as a private investigator, you must make sure that there is a date and time stamp on each video.  You can adjust this on the camera settings.  It is advisable to get a panoramic video shot of the person’s location or his / her vehicle for verification purposes.

Stake outs can run for several hours so private investigators are advised to be prepared at all times.  Stack foods (protein bars), water or toilet paper in your car.