The Reason You Got Burned: Parking Too Close

The Setup

So, you got burned and you don’t know why.

Was it because you parked too close to your Subject’s house?

I’ve seen thousands of hours of video footage taken by private investigators on covert surveillance.

I was both the regional manager and lead investigator for two different companies.

So that meant in addition to my own footage, I was getting a glimpse of the work from private investigators (PIs) in California, Florida, Texas, and every in between.

And yes, I’ve also been burned before.

The times I was burned happened many years ago, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I was burned.

But starting in 2005, I did surveillance myself in a dozen different states anywhere from 40 to 65 hours per week for ten years.

That’s roughly 20,000 hours of surveillance I’ve personally conducted.

And though my main job is running my own PI firm with nine investigators underneath me, I still see PIs getting burned.

But there was no video or piece of content that told me how not to get burned.

Or if there was, there were no tactics that concretely told me how to combat that incorrect operation.

I’m going to give all the ways I’ve avoided getting burned. And, all the recommendations I’ve given to my investigators to not get burned themselves.

In bite-sized segments.

And, obviously, since it’s on YouTube, I’m giving this to you for free.

This is part one of a 20 part segment where I explain the many ways a surveillance operative can get burned.

Look for part 2 of this series, The Reason You Got Burned: Driving Past the Subject’s House Too Slowly or Too Many Times. So, on to the reason.

The Reason You Got Burned

You parked your vehicle too close to the Subject’s house.

You’ve got your perfect surveillance vehicle, window tint, and you’re ready to capture all the Subject’s fraudulent activities.

But, it’s the first day, you’re a rookie, or you’re way too aggressive unnecessarily.

You are sitting either directly in front of the Subject’s house or within 1-2 houses, where the Subject can either look out his front window or walk out to the front porch and see you sitting in your car.

This is number one for a reason.

This is one of the top reasons PIs get burned – they are parked too close!!

I’ve seen it happen to new investigators way too often.

They may have some idea how to do surveillance from movies, you know, where the car is way too close. That’s Hollywood people.

Keep this in mind – you don’t have to see every single thing that happens on the property.

If it’s valuable to you, you’ll see it and capture it on video.

Especially when there is nothing going on the first day of a surveillance operation.

Park further away from the residence.

Consider choosing a route of egress or the most probable route of departure.

Don’t park in a cul-de-sac or within a few houses of the Subject.

If you’re paying attention to your Subject’s house and vehicles and need to into a better position, you can.

Start further away, though.

Your camera should have enough zoom to get some long-distance footage from far away.

If you don’t have a camera, look for one with at least 20x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom.

Links to some cameras in the description:

If you need to get close to obtain video of your Subject working in the yard, cutting grass, etc, you can.

But don’t blow it just to get video of your Subject pulling in empty garbage cans.

Have some good binoculars as well to make sure you can see from further away.

The Takeaway

If you’re in an urban area, you can be a bit closer. With houses and apartments stacked on top of one another, you’re going to need to get a good look at the people coming and going and there may be a lot.

In a suburban area, you can afford to stay 100 yards away at least. So a football field. With good binoculars and digital zoom, you can see all the good stuff.

Rural area, really far away.

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  1. […] you’ve ever done surveillance, many times it’s not the Subject who ends up burning you – it’s the […]

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