Behind the tint
When people find out I run my own private investigative business, their initial reaction is normally very interested. The first thing that they think about is catching cheating spouses, or finding missing persons. They ask about tailing cars, and staking out a house for criminals and drug dealers. Of course I always give them the good stuff first. How I've pinpointed fugitives at home by calling pizza hut, or I was apart of a team who located a high profile missing girl's vehicle that lead to her killer in Los Angeles. But once the dust settles, I break out the real life of a private investigator. The 80% of surveillance investigations...brace yourselves.
Oil funnels, cut water tubing duct taped to a half cut upside down water bottle. Four key chain sized bottles of hand sanitizer, three of them just about empty, used wet wipes scattered around the floor of the car, old dried up seed shells in seats, cup holders, and on the floor, and some of you guys with 2 month old piss bottles under your car seat that rolled into that hard to get area. Every real private investigator who has ever ran surveillance for more than 8 hours knows exactly what I am talking about.
What about the diet? Have you ever been on a road trip? Imagine that diet on 7 days of surveillance. Gas station tacos, bean and cheese, gas station sandwiches, chips, candy, water, soda, beef jerky, and packaged donuts. Hopefully you have had larger style gas stations to load up at prior to getting to work. If not, get rid of the gas station tacos, sandwiches, and replace them with old, dried out, shriveled hot dogs, with buns that are extra hard on the edges from sitting out all day under the flimsy plastic guard. Think about the people who walk by, breathe on, possibly touch and put back those buns. Yea, lets just get the beef jerky.
Once our gas station stop is done, we have to get to the location. Hopefully its about 65 degrees with some clouds, cause if not, prepare to sweat. Of course position, clients request, and geographic location play a huge part in a private investigators comfortably. Sometimes, PI's can sit back from a distance with his or her car on with the AC/Heat running. Now, a lot of times PI's aren't so lucky. Hot Texas summer days, on a workers comp case, and the subject's suspected part time job is washing cars in his front yard, in the residential McAllen area with active neighbors, and everyone is on a WhatsAPP group text. Private investigators (good ones) will keep his or her car turned off for the "money shot". While 100 degrees outside, it's now 115 in our vehicles. While we burn calories, we also keep our clients happy. Not to mention save the insurance company big bucks by burning frauds.
Now that our seats are soaked with sweat, and our bladders are full from chugging 2 Gatorade bottles, a monster energy drink, and half a gallon of water. It is time to go the bathroom. I have seen alot of crazy contraptions to help PI's relieve themselves while in a car. My favorite has been the oil funnel duct taped to a garbage disposal hose, that was led out of a hole created at the bottom of a cars floor, that was screwed into place so the private investigators pee would quietly spill onto the street, and no one would notice. Other normal PI's just pee into a Gatorade bottle. For you new guys, do not forget to bring a Gatorade/Powerade bottle. A bottle with a larger neck area, makes aiming much easier. If you have to go number 2, good luck. I have been able to not have that problem in my car, but I imagine plastic bags, wet wipes, and a lot of napkins (don't forget to roll your windows down a bit).
Okay! All set. Empty bladder, full stomach, camera date and time correct, adrenaline pumping, and 7 hours later the subject's son takes out the trash. Oh wait, here comes the subject...camera up, and while you try to focus you forgot your windows are dirty and the camera wont focus on anything past the spotted windows, but you record anyways only to realize you're wasting your time on an out of focus man. The subject gets in his car and takes off. You let him round the corner, and you attempt to start your car but it wont start. You try again, and nothing, and again, than nothing again. Your head is now in your lap from the embarrassment. Was listening to 94.5 FM for 7 hours worth it? Your battery is dead, but at least you heard 47 songs. While the neighbor arrives you ask if he can jump your car, only to see the subject turn the corner and stop to talk. SIDE NOTE: All of this has happened to me over my years of experience in different occasions. Never all these mistakes at once!
Well... hopefully I have used enough detail for you to picture real life struggles of every PI. If you are a PI and have a crazy story to tell, feel free to visit J. Sapalicio Investigations Facebook page, Yelp page, or Google page and let us hear your story.
Give us a call at (800) 390-2708
Confidentiality is guaranteed