Top Equipment used in a Surveillance

On February 20, 2014, in Blog, Investigation, by sieditor

A productive private investigator will own several investigative equipment. Investigators, first responders, and even private investigators need the right tools to get the job done. Without professional quality surveillance tools, they can sometimes lack the right evidence to convict criminals and make accurate reports of activity. These tools are based on the type of work that a PI will be working on. Below are the list of the Equipment used by a Private Investigator.


Being prepared for just about anything is the name of the game when conducting surveillance.  Different types of surveillance may require more preparation than other types, but regardless of the type, there are many basic items that every investigator should have in their vehicle. In this article I will share the items I carry in my vehicle at all times,  as well as what other investigators have shared with me over the years.




When I began conducting surveillance almost 10 years ago I was fortunate to begin working for a company that provided lap top computers with a Microsoft Street and Trips mapping system.  I would have my computer open while driving and I would follow the map on the computer.  When GPS devices became moderately affordable I purchased one.  Having a GPS device during surveillance provides me with several advantages.


  • I don’t have to map out my route prior to the surveillance.  I just type in the address and head out.  (You still need to Google Earth the area during your preliminary investigation)
  • I can see what streets are coming up when following a subject.  This allows me to anticipate dead end roads and intersections in an unfamiliar area.
  • I can quickly find canvassing points like stores, restaurants and courthouses.


dc-ac-sine-wave-inverters-11844-2554109DC to AC Power Inverter


If you are not familiar with this it is a device that plugs into your cigarette lighter and allows you to plug in things like your laptop computer, cell phone, or anything else you need to charge with a traditional household plug.  I used to purchase the inverters from Radio Shack. Radio Shacks inverters (for me) would either burn out, or my battery in my vehicle would die without notice.  There is nothing like having your subject leave their home and finding out that your vehicle battery is dead.  After going through several of the Radio Shack inverters over the years I came across a Black and Decker Inverter (Black and Decker PI400AB Inverter) that has lasted several years.  I checked the reviews on Amazon for the inverter I use and the ratings were unexpectedly low. I however have not had any real issues with mine.  I actually have been happy with the product as it has two outlets and a USB port.

Advice when using an Inverter


When charging big items like a laptop make sure your vehicle is running.  An alarm will trigger when the vehicle is not running (at least on the Black and Decker).  Charging smaller items like phones, video cameras and other small electronic devices should not require the vehicle to be running.  The fan on the inverter will really hum when you are charging your lap top.

master ZHUA001Binoculars


During surveillance you are going to need to be able to look far away quickly.  Every private investigator should own a pair of binoculars.  The only thing you need to determine is the size and power of your binoculars.  I personally use a small less powerful binocular from.. Read More

Image Source: Dionisic

Article Source: privateinvestigatoradvicehq


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