Okay okay! All of you people that have been badgering me to start a blog documenting my days in the field, here you GO. Beginning May 15, I will have my wireless set up and will provide live updates while on surveillance. For now, I'll just recap my days.
Oh, I will be as honest and truthful as I can without revealing sensitive details about my clients and subjects. Okay, here goes....
4:00am. Dark. Another night with 3 hours of sleep. Why do I do that to myself? One of these days I'll fall asleep at the wheel. Hope it's not today.
I put on the hot water and get my equipment together for the day. I grab a few snacks out of the fridge. And an ice cream bucket. (When you're on stakeout you've gotta go to the bathroom somewhere...)
The dinger goes off on the water and I grab my rediculously enormous mug (64 oz). Fill'er up, add four tea bags, and review cases for the day.
I put on my workout pants and a tank top. Easy to slide off (see bucket) and slippery so I can hop into the front of my truck quickly in case of a mobile pursuit. I have several disguises in the back of the truck in case I need to make a quick change later on.
Today I'm doing a four hour stakeout at a location 95 miles from my home. I need to be there at 6am so I can catch Subject heading to work...if he works. I guess we'll see. I get on the road 20 minutes later.
4:30 am. I stop for gas and cash. Then I head on down toward the Tri-state Tollway. Chicago traffic is generally terrible, but this time of the morning isn't so bad. An hour and a half later I realize that the exit I need to take is blocked off due to construction. Ugh. So I get off the expressway as soon as I can and stop at a gas station to look at a map. Twenty minutes later I'm in front of Subject's residence. A brick, three story apartment building in a middle-income neighborhood. Pretty good area, actually. Not like the neighborhood a few weeks ago when I had a guy with a tire iron circling my truck trying to decide which window to break. He couldn't see me inside because my windows are tinted black. I watched him for a few minute before hopping in the front and driving off. I laughed as I glanced back in my rearview mirror. He was holding up the tire iron, watching after me with a blank look on his face. Ha ha, sucker!
I should get a taser.
6:00 am. Anyway, I took a master shot with my video camera first thing. Then I did a DMV search for any vehicles that might belong to my Subject. Ah ha! I found one. And it's parked right up in front of the building. I park and walk to the entrance. I go in the first set of doors and find the call buttons and mail slots that correspond with Subject's name. Good. He does live here. I try the second set of doors. No go. Secured.
I get back in my truck and decide to park it across the street in the parking lot of another building. Gives me a good view of the front door and his car. Excellent.
And I wait.
7:00. I pull out my travel guitar and practice a couple of new songs, always keeping an eye on the door.
9am. I call 411 to get his phone number. They patch me straight through. This is good because I don't want him using caller ID to get my number.
A female answers. I ask for Subject. He gets on the line. Hmmm. Accent sounds like he might be African American. I tell him that I am Susan from Omni Delivery Service and that I have a package for him. He needs to sign for it so could he please tell me when he'll be home today? He tells me he doesn't plan on leaving so any time is good. Bummer. Then he asks me what the package is. I say that I just coordinate the deliveries so I couldn't say.
Okay. I established his presence and also got an idea of his schedule for the day. Two more hours.
I really hate these early morning 4 hour cases. If you don't get them out of the house early you usually just sit there.
The door starts to open and I scramble to get my camera ready. Nope. Old man with a cane. He stops part-way along the walkway as another man exits. They chat. After about 15 minutes of that, the old man gets into an Oldsmobile sedan and drives away. Hmm. The old man's vehicle and the Subject's vehicle are the only two parked out front. Must be the designated handicapped area, though it is not marked. My guy is supposed to be disabled.
10:00 am. I terminate for the day. I'll be back tomorrow a little later in the morning. I take a last master shot and then get out of my truck. I walk over to his vehicle, making sure nobody is watching. I use a white piece of chalk to mark his left front and back tires. That way I can tell tomorrow if his vehicle had moved. Usually, I would come back later this afternoon to see if he'd gone anywhere, but this case is too far from home.
Time to go home. Write my report. Nap. YES.