Stakeout Essentials

The Stakeout Necessities

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, when on a stakeout you can never tell how late into the night a job will take you or even the amount of days you’ll be there. You can’t leave a job in the midst of it because you need to go to the bathroom or you need a drink of water, because of this you always have to come prepared. There are many things an investigator should always remember to bring along with them prior to a stakeout in order to avoid any unneeded distractions.

  1. Pee bottle: Although some might think this is TMI, it’s necessary in order to stay on a job for what might seem like endless hours. You cannot just get up and drive to the closest gas station to use the restroom.
  2. Cell phone: For communication purposes of course, but if needed, you can always use as back up camera.
  3. Water: As we all know hydration is key in anything we do, just keep in mind the more water you drink the more you will need to go to the bathroom!
  4. Snacks: You can never estimate how long a job will take you, should you end up getting stuck on a job overnight you’re going to definitely need some snacks for when the hunger kicks in.
  5. Camera: New aged technology makes cell phones much better at photography than it used to be but digital cameras are still great for videos and still shots.
  6. Binoculars: Binoculars are always needed for the job, you never know how far out you’ll need to be able to see. Compact binoculars can usually do the job as they offer approximately 7x to 10x magnification ranges, are easily accessible and easy to use. Should you opt for binoculars with larger magnification ranges you may need to purchase a tripod stand for stabilization. Some investigators are now utilizing night goggles, which are very good for areas with no streetlights however, these will run you on the pricier side.
  7. Flashlight: The waiting game can become boring, you might want to catch up on some work, reading, or research during the night and a flashlight always comes in handy.
  8. Adapter: You must make sure not to head to a job without one otherwise, you will have no way to charge your electronics!
  9. A Partner: Should your job take you into the night or even longer, you will need someone with you for breaks.  No one can last days on end without sleep waiting for something to happen and often times investigations are a lot of waiting and a lot of patience.
  10. Clothing that fits the job: Always dress the part, for the most part a pair of dark jeans and black t-shirt will work however, it truly depends on the environment. Should you be heading into the middle of downtown Miami on a Monday, you will want to be dressed in business attire. Should you be heading to the pier on a Saturday afternoon, a pair of shorts and tank top will do the trick, always do your best to remain inconspicuous.
  11. Change of clothing: You always want to remain inconspicuous, a person will recognize you again if you are wearing the exact same clothing so be sure to change up your look. At one point during the day, you will wear a t-shirt, jeans, and sunglasses and later that day you will have on a tank top, pair of shorts, and a baseball cap on. By doing these wardrobe changes, a person will not be able to catch on as easily to the fact that they are being followed as it usually takes at least three times of seeing someone to realize you are being followed.

In order to be successful on a stakeout, these essentials are necessary! You may along the way find other things that are necessary for you so always be sure to have a list of the essentials so that prior to heading to a job you can make sure that you’re prepared should you job take you for the long haul.