Obtaining hard evidence is the main purpose of conducting investigations. To do that, you need tools to keep you hidden within the crowd and record your target’s actions. Depending on the case you’re working on, you may rely on essential items like hidden microphones and small cameras to gather the info you need. But you will often need to trail your suspect from a distance to accomplish this. Let’s take a look at six needed items any private investigator needs:
Blending in a crowd is a must for any private investigator, and having a set of inconspicuous clothes can help you do this. Some of the things you can use to hide in plain sight include coats, plain shirts and caps. Wigs and hair dye might also come in handy if needed. In other cases where your target might frequent upscale hotels, you might want to consider wearing suits and ties to fit in with the environment.
Having a varied wardrobe will make it hard for people to remember you. This makes it easier to maintain your cover.
If you’re investigating your subject from a distance, then getting a pair of binoculars is your best bet. These work best from elevated spots like rooftops or balconies. Having one that allows up to 17x magnification works best, even in urban settings.
- Memory cards
Storing video and photo evidence is crucial for making your cases. Getting the SDXC type memory cards are recommended since they allow up to 2TB worth of storage space, depending on the camera you use. These will allow you to store all the evidence you need for reference later on.
- GPS trackers
GPS devices allow you to keep tabs on the subject of your investigation. This lets you plot out a map of the places they frequent and determine if they go to areas away from their usual routine. Highlighting these points will also let you know which disguises to use when observing your targets.
- Covert cameras
Body cameras and dashboard cameras are indispensable when getting hard evidence. Whether you’re trailing a suspect on foot or on a vehicle, you need something with a high resolution. This allows facial recognition software to identify the person, making your evidence credible.
- Spare change
You never know when you need to take a train or a bus to follow your target. If the person is commuting, chances are you’ll be on the move a lot. Getting loose bills and coins will eliminate the hassle of having to fork around for change while on the move. It also helps take care of the parking meters if you need to keep your vehicle out of sight.
Jotting down notes is still as important as ever, even in the age of smartphones. For one thing, notepads can be opened quickly, and you have a greater degree of freedom to take down all kinds of info. This includes everything from the target’s description, mannerisms, and frequent haunts. These will help plan your investigation and chart a set of tactics you will need to get the info your client requires.
While agencies will differ on the kind of gear issued to their investigators, these six items are what any detective will need. Having these will ensure that your evidence is solid and credible enough in any situation.