Gaining Access

In law enforcement, there are occasions where it's necessary to plant surveillance devices on a suspect's home, vehicles, phones, etc. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but the suspects can NOT know they are under surveillance. An operative getting caught, not only means you lost the devices (s) you were planting, plus injury or death for the operative- it also means you have a great likelihood of never successfully planting others. An alerted and wary subject is very difficult to monitor.

Uniforms are "instant credibility" …

… To gain entry, and can generally be purchased from uniform supply shops in malls. The correct "patches" for each type of uniform are readily purchased from the patch suppliers themselves, since almost every company contracts out this work. The supplier can be determined from studying awarded contracts for city bids, usually on the appropriate website. Buying a uniform from an employee, or a recent ex-employee, is also a good route, as long as confidentiality can be maintained.

Another source …

… Is that most companies contract their uniform laundry. Recruiting a driver, from one of these laundry services, can yield access to numerous types and sizes of uniforms, and without a paper trail of purchases. A plausible cover story ( "need to rent a couple for a costume party, for a couple of days", or "I need to replace one I left at this girl's house, and the company will freak if I lost it") will give the driver the reassurance he needs. Most drivers are poorly paid, and need minimal reasons to accept your cash.

Visual surveillance …

… Of the buildings to be "planted" should include all surrounding buildings. You should look particularly for dogs and small children, since both will raise commotion if they spot someone unfamiliar. Do not neglect abandoned vehicles, since they are frequently used in poorer neighborhoods as "sex spots", and can contain observers at exactly the wrong time. Unless speed is absolute, observe for at least two weekdays, and at least one weekend day.

Check schedules …

… For meter readers (both water and electrical), trash pickup, mail delivery, etc. Most cities maintain websites, and you can gain much information. One otherwise-flawless "planting" operation was blown by the fact the agent was delivering FedEx on Sunday. Another failed because the operative was dressed as an electrical meter reader, two weeks earlier than scheduled. YOU MUST BE INVISIBLE.

Lingering …

… Is always a problem. So are repeated, regular visits to collect retrieved information, or change batteries. Best of all, is to rent a dwelling within transmit radius of the subject. For example, an apartment, a couple of floors below or above the subject, is well within the transmit range of most devices, even with the accompanying interference. This can also mean you can use devices that do not require "personal" servicing, since you can monitor them directly.

If you are from the local police department, you can request assistance from your city officials. City panel vans are everywhere, and nobody pays attention, as long as there are cones out. (Know the rules for correct cone placement for your area, for the service you are supposed to represent). This is usually only useful during standard working hours, but should be considered for those times. They can also return to the same area two or three days in a row, with none the wiser. Make sure you have appropriate documents from the city, in case somebody wants to see them, to verify your "bona fides". If you're involved with your city well enough to conscript vehicles, you should have no problem with paperwork. One set of operatives actually DID the work on the work sheets, busily inspecting gas lines and gas stoves, while the recorders in the truck continued to spin merrily.