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Utah Gumshoe: Breaking Bad - Two Habits Every Private Eye Should Avoid

The Utah Gumshoe: Insurance Claims Trade Show Tips

Listen: Breaking Bad: Two Habits Every Private Eye Should Avoid

When it comes to Breaking Bad: Two Habits Every Private Eye Should Avoid, there are obviously plenty of habits that should be avoided. The following two examples have to do with surveillance.

1. Getting a Late Start

This seems fairly obvious but it’s a mistake many private investigators make. I’m sure you’ve heard the platitudes, “Early to bed, early to rise” and “The early bird gets the worm.” As it turns out the early bird may also get an active subject too. When it comes to surveillance, getting a late start can ruin you’re entire day. For example, if it’s the first time attempting surveillance on the subject it’s critical that you arrive at an early hour to observe what vehicles are typically present before the day begins. You will also be able to observe who leaves and at what time. Aside from the subject, other occupants at the residence may depart for work or school. And sometimes you’ll find the subject providing the transportation. In fact, it may be the only time you find him or her active. Finally, if you arrive early enough you generally won’t have to wonder whether or not the subject is home. Obviously this doesn’t work for every situation (I once had a baker that I eventually discovered departing his residence at 4:00 AM every morning. I couldn’t understand why I kept missing him.)

2. Leaving an Active Surveillance

Rookie investigators do it. Experienced investigators do it. I’ve done it and you’ve probably done it too. What, you may ask? Leaving an active surveillance for food or a restroom break with the hopes that the subject will still be there when you return.

So you leave an active subject for the drive-thru at In-N-Out Burger with the hopes the subject will still be there after you return. Like Captain Renault in Casablanca who said “I’m shocked to find gambling going on here!” (and then being presented with his winnings) we too, feign shock and surprise when we return to the surveillance and discover the subject is gone. But it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. This little action can suddenly render a 6 hour surveillance useless.

It’s best to be prepared for a long surveillance with plenty of water, food and the ability to handle a restroom break inside your surveillance vehicle. It may be unpleasant at times but that kind of dedication and tenacity will lead to success in surveillance.

Until next time,

This is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe, reminding you the game…is afoot!

About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast

Scott B. Fulmer The Utah Gumshoe

The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of intellUTAH, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.

He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.

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