Spy Tips on Surveillance, Covering Your Tracks, and more
One of the reasons surveillance is done is teams is that it’s exhausting sitting a car remaining constantly alert while you watch a mailbox, will knock you out like a handful of sleeping pills. Doing it in shifts, is the only way to make sure you don’t miss something.
Tailing a trained operative, requires a number of time consuming preparations. Everything from acquiring a vehicle they can not recognize or trace to familiarizing yourself with all the local traffic patterns.
Covert security is designed to blend in. People you never notice. Until you see them in action. Which means you have two options. You can sit and wait for an incident to occur, or you can create your own incident.
When you’re looking to get someone arrested, bad guys can’t always be counted on to commit crimes on your schedule. Sometimes you have to give them a little push.
You can’t stop a door alarm from going off, but you can explain it. Leave a few cigarette buts on the ground and anyone coming by will assume someone was taking sneaking a smoke break.
24/7 surveillance on a location used to require a full team of operatives. These days you can get by with a web cam and a wireless signal booster from your local electronics store. Ideally, you drill holes and mount it on brackets. But when time is an issue, I prefer dental pipe. Easy to mix, easy to apply, and it’s as strong as cement when it hardens. But it hardens quick, so you better aim right the first time.
Making yourself invisible when you need to is a needed skill for a covert operative. It sounds exotic, but it’s not like a super secret move they teach you at spy school that allows you to vanish into thin air. Often its just a matter of quick thinking, fast feet, and strong finger.
Safe cracking skills are a basic part of espionage training. Spies steal secrets and people keep their secrets in safes. But staying current with safe cracking is a little like staying current with computers. A new model every year. Bottom line, if you want to breach a safe, you have to practice.
A criminal cover ID isn’t just about a new name and phone number. It’s about fitting into a culture with its own rules and hierarchy. It’s a world where bank robbers are the rock stars, con artists are the snobs, car thieves are the blue color guys, and safe crackers are the artists.
Sending messages in the middle of an operation is among some of the most dangerous things you can do. Sometimes you just have to drop and a note and hope that your backup team is paying attention
A certain kind of leader insists on controlling every single aspect of an operation so that nothing can possibly go wrong. The downside to insisting to control everything is that when something bad happens, they will all think its part of your plan.