Getting Burned

Posted on: August 15th, 2019

Getting made. Burned. It’s the surveillance operatives worst fear. The people you are tailing have noticed you. It happens. If you are a pro and vigilant, it happens very seldom. It doesn’t have to be your fault. Some clients will threaten the spouse one day and hire you the next.  Like maybe they think we are invisible?

I remember when I first started in the private eye biz. It felt like everyone noticed me. It was not true but most inexperienced ops have that feeling.

The guy I first worked for had mostly “private cases”. Private eye parlance for husband/wives type infidelity surveillance. Mostly at night.

One time he did get a big insurance defense case. It was a psych injury.
The insurance companies always want the same thing. Show the claimant is not really hurt as they claim. Or, find them working when the say they cannot. In this case alotta guys tried before us and no one could get anything on this guy.

In a psychological claim it’s a challenge. I mean how likely is it you tail him to Washington Square Park where he plays competitive chess? Who knows what they’re really capable of?

Anyway this one claimant was hardly active. He mostly stayed home but if he went out he always had a parka on with the hood up. Winter? Parka. Spring? Parka. Summer? Parka. A few teams of guys tailed him and never got anything worthwhile. Little activity and always with the hood up. He was a little spooky.

Man with a parka

Fast forward about 15 months later and me and one of those guys are tailing a guy in a non-compete case. It’s usually where the guy sells his business and then starts to steal his old customers back- in violation of the terms of sale. Not very nice but-you have to catch him doing it.

So, we are tailing this guy all over the five boro’s, getting good stuff.
One day, after about six hours of constant surveillance he goes into another store and we see a pizza parlor on a nearby corner. We have a chance grab a slice and still see his car.

We double park and run in for a quick slice. There we are eating it on the sidewalk by the pizzeria window and who walks by? It’s the spooky guy from the psych case of the year before. He’s shlumping along (with the parka on) and as he passes the pizzeria he sees us. A startled look comes over his face as he hastily puts the hood up! Now who is the crazy one?

© Michael McKeeer. 2019. All Rights Reserved

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