Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Years ago, one of my first surveillance jobs was on an individual who was allegedly part of a burglary ring who were stealing laptops and the like to order. Supposedly he was also using the proceeds of his illicit activities to fuel his methamphetamine habit and we had been warned not to get caught as he is prone to violence. We're also told to expect that he is surveillance-aware.


We'd already spent a number of evenings staking out his house with nothing to report. Seriously nothing, no-one coming or going. For all we knew no-one was home at all but such is the nature of surveillance work: it's 99% boredom.

But then there's that other 1%...

So late one evening we are in our OP after hours of nothing to report when, all of a sudden, a vehicle passes our position and pulls into the front of our subject's house. It's a vehicle that we'd been informed was owned by one of the other members of the ring.

Standby, Standby.

Two males exit the vehicle, one we identify as our subject. It's at this point the adrenaline kicks in and the effects are instantaneous. Elevated heart-rate and respiration, I can hear my pulse in my ears.  

Our subject pauses in the garden and takes a few steps towards our OP. Through my binoculars I can see he is just standing there looking right at us. Unmoving.

Can he see us? Are we burned? The seconds tick by... 10... 20... 30... My heart is hammering in my chest, I'm sure even he can hear it.

He is still standing there and I'm certain he's looking directly at me... 40... 50... He knows I'm there... oh god... oh god...

...and then I can see steam rising from his position. He's not staring at us, he's busy having a piss in the garden and, judging by the length of time it took, he'd been holding it in for a while.

We never really did get anything useful from our surveillance and out subject was later arrested during a daytime burglary of a warehouse. Still, I learned a valuable lesson that night about surveillance and paranoia.

1 comment:

  1. That was pretty good - you should look at putting together some of these into a short novel or similar.