Top Equipment used in a Surveillance

On February 20, 2014, in Blog, Investigation, by sieditor

A productive private investigator will own several investigative equipment. Investigators, first responders, and even private investigators need the right tools to get the job done. Without professional quality surveillance tools, they can sometimes lack the right evidence to convict criminals and make accurate reports of activity. These tools are based on the type of work that a PI will be working on. Below are the list of the Equipment used by a Private Investigator.

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Being prepared for just about anything is the name of the game when conducting surveillance.  Different types of surveillance may require more preparation than other types, but regardless of the type, there are many basic items that every investigator should have in their vehicle. In this article I will share the items I carry in my vehicle at all times,  as well as what other investigators have shared with me over the years.

 

96d747a6cf53bfc4_garmin-gps-deviceGPS

 

When I began conducting surveillance almost 10 years ago I was fortunate to begin working for a company that provided lap top computers with a Microsoft Street and Trips mapping system.  I would have my computer open while driving and I would follow the map on the computer.  When GPS devices became moderately affordable I purchased one.  Having a GPS device during surveillance provides me with several advantages.

Advantages

  • I don’t have to map out my route prior to the surveillance.  I just type in the address and head out.  (You still need to Google Earth the area during your preliminary investigation)
  • I can see what streets are coming up when following a subject.  This allows me to anticipate dead end roads and intersections in an unfamiliar area.
  • I can quickly find canvassing points like stores, restaurants and courthouses.

 

dc-ac-sine-wave-inverters-11844-2554109DC to AC Power Inverter

 

If you are not familiar with this it is a device that plugs into your cigarette lighter and allows you to plug in things like your laptop computer, cell phone, or anything else you need to charge with a traditional household plug.  I used to purchase the inverters from Radio Shack. Radio Shacks inverters (for me) would either burn out, or my battery in my vehicle would die without notice.  There is nothing like having your subject leave their home and finding out that your vehicle battery is dead.  After going through several of the Radio Shack inverters over the years I came across a Black and Decker Inverter (Black and Decker PI400AB Inverter) that has lasted several years.  I checked the reviews on Amazon for the inverter I use and the ratings were unexpectedly low. I however have not had any real issues with mine.  I actually have been happy with the product as it has two outlets and a USB port.

Advice when using an Inverter

 

When charging big items like a laptop make sure your vehicle is running.  An alarm will trigger when the vehicle is not running (at least on the Black and Decker).  Charging smaller items like phones, video cameras and other small electronic devices should not require the vehicle to be running.  The fan on the inverter will really hum when you are charging your lap top.

master ZHUA001Binoculars

 

During surveillance you are going to need to be able to look far away quickly.  Every private investigator should own a pair of binoculars.  The only thing you need to determine is the size and power of your binoculars.  I personally use a small less powerful binocular from.. Read More

Image Source: Dionisic

Article Source: privateinvestigatoradvicehq

 

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  2. I have a power inverter for my car. Wow, guess that means I’ve got some of the gear I’d need to be a PI. Of course, I’d only want to “catch them doing something irresistible.” I could take footage of people with there personalities at full magnetic power. Oh, I’ve already started doing that . . .

  3. Kungphoo says:

    I have a GPS on my phone and one for my car as well. I love them and never travel somewhere unknown without it. It definitely helps you get to where your going a lot faster than you would if you didn’t know various routes.

  4. Jason says:

    I am not a PI, but love my inverter for camping. It comes in handy for sure. I also use black and decker, same model and have had no issues.

  5. Dov Shapira says:

    What use do you have for DC to AC Power Inverter as a IP?

  6. Juanita says:

    I wonder if any PI’s have killed their battery on the job?

  7. veronica says:

    That’s a lot of equipment to follow your targets. Quite interesting! be careful out there

  8. A DC to AC Power Inverter is good to have if you will be stuck in your car all day following people. Bet PI charges a lot for their services!

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  10. Wow..there are so many different pieces of equipment that are used in surveillance that I have not realized. Thank you fro informing me:) My fave one of these is the GPS. I have it everywhere I go and feel lost without it:)

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  12. I never knew a PI had to have so much equipment. I love my GPS even though I am not a PI. I think it is a very useful tool for anybody to own.

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  14. Having the right equipment in any profession is a must. I have always thought private investigation would be an interesting field.

  15. GPS is very useful not only for surveillance, it is very important also when travelling to unfamiliar places as your guide.

  16. Lisa Hodges says:

    What great detailed information. I didn’t know that about an inverter, so thank you for sharing this!

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