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Series 2 – Blog #7 – The Pros and Cons of Surveillance (City)

The Pros and Cons of Surveillance (City)

There’s no telling where your mark may go, so this month we’re offering a guide on the pro and cons of surveillance in cities, suburbs, and rural areas with tips to mitigate the cons.

Cities like Milwaukee and Madison are full of people, buildings, and unpredictable traffic patterns. Whether you’re following someone to work, or discovering what they do every night, cities present unique challenges for private investigators.

City Pros

  • Easy to hide. You can duck into a doorway, hide behind a taller pedestrian, or blend into the crowd whenever your mark looks over their shoulder. And because there’s so many people, unless you physically interact with a mark, the chance of you being noticed are slim.
  • People expect cameras. Tourists flock to cities, and so raising a phone or a small DSLR to snap a picture won’t raise attention. To add to the illusion, stick a map in your pocket or wear clothes advertising the city.

City Cons

  • Hard to follow a mark. Traffic can be difficult to navigate, and if you miss a light you could lose your mark entirely. Make things easier by working with a partner. Downtown, work on foot trading off follows. And for highway driving, two people in the car allow you to use the carpool lane and better watch traffic.
  • It’s expensive. Parking downtown is rarely cheap, and if you’re watching a mark from a café across the street you’ll have to make several purchases. Mitigate costs by taking public transit – it also makes it easier to follow marks – and using loyalty programs.
  • Limited access buildings. Many work offices require badges and appointments for access, and you may not have them. Take note of the little things about your mark as they enter. See if a badge they pull out or how they talk to the receptionist can reveal anything, and watch the elevator numbers if possible.

Have a great week! Look for our next blog: The Pros and Cons of Surveillance (Suburbs)!


Third Coast Investigations – Blog #7



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