Life on the run

Life on the run

As a former law enforcement officer and licensed private investigator who believes in being prepared, one of the scenarios that I plan for is life on the run. The reason doesn’t have to be because of a criminal violation. It could be an angry ex spouse or maybe you witnessed something that would better suit them if you were dead.

A decent Volusia County man was murdered last year when he stopped to help a stuck vehicle in his Deltona Florida neighborhood. What he did not realize was the stranded motorist he was helping was there to kill him on behalf of a jailed road rage defendant. He was a witness in a case against a real three-time LOSER.

Sometimes its for safety

Maybe the new person in you’re life forgot to tell you that they’re ex is an imprisoned gang member with a violent temper and oh by the way honey he’s getting out soon. Planning and playing these scenarios helps. Working as an investigator, I know what to look for when you’re the hunter. One of my favorite past times was going into a coffee shop in the mall and watching people. Watching they’re behavior, body language, attire and how they behave around others in public helped me to determine they’re routine.

Changing appearance

During narcotics training we conducted an exercise of following a “dealer” by shadowing his actions while driving and while on foot into the Seminole Town mall. The person we were following knew he was being followed and would make a note of any of the followers he detected providing a description for the after action briefing at the end of class. The first thing I did was get a shopping bag from the nearest store to put my portable radio in. It’s kind of obvious who you are when carrying a brick radio. Carrying numerous changes of cloths in your car is a must. Extra ball caps and different eye glasses help.

Multiple vehicle surveillance makes operatives harder to detect because you can pass off the target so he will not get suspicious seeing the same car too many times. Single car follow is much harder and requires creative driving which could give away your presence if your target is paying attention.

In one insurance case, the claimant had previously seen the car and the investigator that I was riding with to many times and would drive slowly on I4 waving her arm out the drivers window for us to keep up. She had been schooled by her attorney on what tell-tale signs of surveillance operations look like.

In another case I had to obtain a recorded statement from an insurance claimant we had previously watched some twenty times in the prior months. He described every vehicle we had used over the course of the surveillance period.
That little voice in your head that say’s ‘the guy knows your there” may be telling you the truth because the one thing the insurance company forgets to tell you is that their last three investigators got burned.

Reversing roles

So we go from hunting to being hunted. Plan that you won’t have much time to get you’re affairs in order so prepare now. You’ll need a hell’s freezing over cash stash hopefully more than $500.00. Money spends quick and your bank card is easily tracked. On my trip from Florida to Colorado I would change between cash only and debit transactions. It takes a lot of cash to get that far undetected.

Have a go bag ready and containing several different types and colors of shirts A change of pants or shorts and always wear comfortable foot wear. If your carrying concealed make it a small revolver or automatic. Less weight more comfort.

One person I was educating because of a stalker had to rethink what route she drove. Where and how she parked her vehicle and the foot wear she wore into work. High heals suck when your running for your life. Try sneakers to and from and leave the heals in the office.

Another “Victim” learned the internet never forgets all those selfies posted by you and your friends. They only help the stalker. I learned where she lived and obtained online photo’s of her, her friends and her dog. Shes an up and coming musician and had her schedule out there for all her followers to see.

No such thing a privacy anymore

There are businesses out there gathering your personal data and selling it to online vendors. Go online and check yourself for very little money you will learn what you drive, where you live, you’re relatives information and your cell phone information. Without giving away any trade secrets I will tell you nothing is ever “free” in this world.

Work on your situational awareness. Pay attention to your entrances and exits. Freely look around and see who is looking at you. Don’t get paranoid just make a note if you start seeing them more than twice and maybe pay a little more attention. If under threat never eat, sleep or go to the bathroom in the same place twice. Life on the run is not easy.

People are creatures of habit. We shop close to home and usually the same locations. Family events and of course mothers birthday are special dates if someone is trying to find you. Everybody contacts home sooner or later. If I can find 10 people who know you 2 of those will probably sell you out with the right motivation.

In one example, we stopped by a targets home in Daytona Beach Florida. The target was not home but the ole lady was more than willing to invite me in and show me his motorcycle he had for sale. I about Soiled myself as my partner filmed from the car. The average person is way to nice for their own good.

Please, Please. please, if you’re ever the subject of one of these surveillance’s remember to 1. leave the sling on after church, and 2. Remember which foot you suppose to be limping on. Don’t stop half way across the 7-11 parking lot and change feet. For all you aspiring young investigators, remember to cover the red dot when filming with your camera in the dark.

As always be safe healthy and aware my friends. Be sure to follow our blog for more informative articles.

Ralph Tcat

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