Probably the biggest challenge is “The Lead Foot” This is the guy that drives 75 on the 65 MPH posted highway, 35 through residential areas, and is always going way too fast for safety. This is usually by far the toughest scenario to deal with. I always keep safety in mind and I always carry a recording device to document my actions and the actions of the subject. Always document his speed and what the posted speed is so you can explain it to your client in a logical form. I also always have my camera on its tripod or monopod so I can quickly pull it up and obtain video of the subject’s vehicle when it is safe to do so. This is good evidence for your client to show the subjects actions.
The first thing we should probably ask our self at the onset of “The Lead Foot” subject is; “Why is he driving so fast?” could he be late for work or a meeting? Is it just his way of driving? Or is it because he thinks he is being followed? If the possibility is the latter then extreme caution must be taken. If the subject thinks he is being followed and is in fear for his/her life, that then can easily be construed as stalking, which is a situation you never want to put yourself in.
Let me give these words of caution up front. If for any reason you ever believe you are made just pull off, regroup, discuss it with your client and move forward as deemed appropriate from there. Also, ALWAYS keep safety in mind first. I am not advising anyone to ever break the law or perform dangerous acts while conducting an investigation. That said I generally try these tactics with “The Lead Foot” subject on mobile surveillance.
– Try to keep the subjects vehicle in view even if at a distance. Make observations of the rear of the vehicle, color, bumper stickers, any other distinguishing marks.
– If I must speed a little to try to keep up I do so safely and only at appropriate times such as in open road areas. But safety is always my number one priority.
– Never try to overtake the subject’s vehicle just try to maintain a visual contact at a distance. Speeding beyond his speed is the most dangerous action you can take.
– Try to anticipate where he may be going. Is he late for work and do you know where he works? If you are working an injury case and you know the subject has a medical appointment the same day then work out a plan to get to the medical appointment, not to catch up with him. Your surveillance can continue once he gets to where he is going.
And this concludes our mini series – Mobile Surveillance – One Investigators View Point. I hope you have found it interesting, and helpful as well if you are a PI.
~ John L. Morris
A Northern Colorado, licensed and insured, Greeley Private Investigator
Call today for your 100% FREE Private Investigator Consultation (970) 673-5719
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