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The Utah Gumshoe: Back to School Surveillance Tips

The Utah Gumshoe: Back to School Surveillance Tips

Listen: Back to School Surveillance Tips

It’s that time of year again; back to school. And that means more opportunities to catch your subject active. Toward that end, here are two tips to make your back to school surveillance more successful.

Tip #1—Identify Your Subject's School-Age Children

Your first step is to find out whether or not your subject has children and, if so, what their ages are. From there you’ll need to identify (based on the children’s ages) the specific elementary or high school the children attend. In almost all cases it will be the closest school in the neighborhood. But keep in mind there’s a possibility that your subject’s children may attend a charter school, religious school or some other type of private school. In fact, they may even be home-schooled. Once the school or schools have been identified then you’ll need to check the school websites and find out when school starts and when it ends. You should also note that elementary, junior high and high school all start and end at different times. Unless the kids take the bus, someone has to take them to school and pick them up every day. Which means there may be a couple of opportunities a day to catch an otherwise inactive subject, both out and active. Of course, the subject may just pick the kids up and go back home. Or, he might pick the kids up and stop at a fast-food restaurant, city park, grocery store or even Walmart for more school supplies. Either way, there’s opportunity there.

Tip #2—Parents' Night, Sports, and Other School Activities

The other plus, when it comes to having a subject with school age children, is that they’re often involved in plenty of school related activities. In fact, the first few weeks of school are filled with meetings such as orientation, parents night, meet the teacher, PTA meetings and other similar activities. Junior high and high school football season starts at about the same time. This means band practice, pep rallies, football practice, etc. The opportunities are endless. Make sure you check the school website for more information. The websites have detailed calendars, lists of events, sports schedules and photographs of team members. If you’re really lucky your subject may be involved as a volunteer, band booster, home room parent or some other type of parent support role.

I once had a case where the subject and her daughter filed a fraudulent personal injury claim. I followed through with tip #1 and a few days later I was sitting in the bleachers with a video camera in one hand and a hot dog in another. I ended up shooting award winning video of both the subject and her daughter at a high school volley ball game. The daughter was the high school star and her mother was her biggest fan. There are plenty of other surveillance tips for back to school. But this will get you started.

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