Street Smart Tips from an experienced Private Investigator
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
'Walk like you mean it.' Don't cower. Act like you belong in whatever setting you're in. If you walk with purpose, nobody will question you. This is big if your subject enters a gym, a restaurant that requires reservations, a front desk at a hotel or a government type building.
If you’re a tourist or on surveillance in a sketchy neighborhood. 'Use common sense.' Don't wear headphones while walking alone. Don't showcase your electronics. Don't count your cash in public. Don't be a dumbass.
Just look like you belong there. 'If you look like a victim you'll probably become a victim.' “Excuse me while I stand on a street corner with a huge paper map, looking frantically in all directions.”
'Just blend the hell in.' This is what I try to do if I know my subject might go to a bar, a rodeo, an off road event or a concert. If you're going to a new place, figure out how they dress. You don't stand out, ever. If you're surrounded by hippies, look like a hippy. If you're surrounded by hicks, look like a hick. If you're in a sketchy neighborhood, look just as sketchy as everyone else. I always have many different outfits in my vehicle, including shoes and caps.
It seems simple, but it's always served me well. I've been to a lot of places in my life, including a lot of crappy places. Never been mugged. Never been threatened or harassed. The odd man out is always the target.
Oh… and don't leave anything visible in your car. Don't draw attention with those Apple stickers, or any fancy brand logos, on your car window. Think about where you are and what’s going on around you. Don't stick a "kicker" logo on your rear windshield. They will pry the trunk open with a crow bar and take the subs out. It kills me every time I see a vehicle bragging about the aftermarket parts they installed by using stickers. Just stop!