Blog

16
Nov

How To Review Time-Lapse Footage

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on How To Review Time-Lapse Footage

This article provides instructions, or rather a set of guidelines, as to how best and most efficiently review time-lapse surveillance footage.  Please note, this article does not discuss how to best review general surveillance footage, but only time-lapse footage.   Generally, if the unmanned camera has been recording for 5-6 days, you can safely assume […]

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15
Nov

Unmanned Camera Surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment · Technique | Comments Off on Unmanned Camera Surveillance

This article is intended to provide you with pertinent information concerning unmanned cameras as well as instructions on how to best utilize the Brinno TLC200 (our favorite unmanned camera). Unmanned surveillance can be integral to a private investigator in the following ways: Pre-Surveillance Research: We set up cameras the week before surveillance at the exits […]

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08
Nov

Super DVdate – software for TimeStamps

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Technique | Comments Off on Super DVdate – software for TimeStamps

As you have learned from my previous articles, you can use AVS Software to timestamp your videos. However, as you might have noticed, in some cases AVS does not work. The reason is because AVS is only able to retrieve “subtitles” from certain video files (i.e. HD).   If AVS does not retrieving the date/time […]

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25
Oct

2016 Surveillance Camera Reviews

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on 2016 Surveillance Camera Reviews

Prior to telling you why we chose a certain camera, I would like to explain the most important functions that should be considered when choosing a camcorder:   ZOOM   Zoom is extremely important when choosing a camera. There are three zoom features on a camera: Optical Zoom, Digital Zoom and Intelligent Zoom. Optical zoom […]

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28
Sep

Date/Time stamp with AVS software

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on Date/Time stamp with AVS software

    Please note this only works with HD cameras that record in ACVHD     There is a software program called AVS Video Converter (www.avs4you.com) that will allow you to put the date/time stamp on your video without the need for any cables or additional hardware. AVS Video Converter can even be used on […]

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31
Jul

70 Day Surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Case Studies | Comments Off on 70 Day Surveillance

O&O Investigations, Inc. was hired to work a divorce case in Beverly Hills, CA. Our client believed that her husband was committing fraud. Our objective was to conduct surveillance for five days to document the subject’s lifestyle. Specifically, we were attempting to gather evidence of the subject spending cash on his mistresses and living a […]

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31
Jul

Difficult Personal Injury Case

Posted by | No Tags | Case Studies | Comments Off on Difficult Personal Injury Case

As part of difficult personal injury case, O&O Investigations, Inc. was hired to determine whether the subject was over-exaggerating a back injury. As part of our pre-surveillance research, we ran database searches and determined that the subject’s address matched the address provided by the client. The subject resided in a small apartment near the beach. […]

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31
Jul

Body found after 18 years

Posted by | No Tags | Case Studies | Comments Off on Body found after 18 years

In 2011, O&O Investigations, Inc. was retained to work a pro bono case involving the disappearance of a person. The person (i.e. the subject) disappeared in 1993 and was believed, by his family, to have died. Upon the subject’s disappearance, the subject’s wife contacted the police on several occasions. However, the police were unsuccessful in […]

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27
Jul

Captains Chair in Surveillance Van

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Captains Chair in Surveillance Van

In my previous article, I described how I removed all the rear seats that came with the minivan. In place of the rear seats, I installed a captain’s chair instead. This setup provides the ability to rotate the chair 360 degrees so that an investigator can comfortably watch any direction from the rear of the […]

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07
Jun

2015 Surveillance Camera Reviews

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on 2015 Surveillance Camera Reviews

This is a very quick review of the new surveillance cameras of 2015. I purposely did not write a 2014 review as nothing new or “game changing” was released.   [Please Note: The updated version of the Panasonic V520 came out in 2014 named the V550. The V550 had a technical glitch with the recording […]

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28
Mar

Blacking out your vehicle

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Blacking out your vehicle

As every investigator is aware, it is of the utmost importance that an investigator not be seen by the subject of his investigation.  Therefore, it is often necessary to take additional steps to ensure that the investigator remains hidden.  For example, if you are stopped at a stoplight directly behind your subject, you want to […]

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21
Mar

Reverse Camera

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Reverse Camera

Years ago, I used to think that a reverse camera was simply a cool extra feature on one’s vehicle. Since then I have come to realize that it’s a necessity in any decent surveillance vehicle. The time it saves while parking is essential and can provide an investigator with more time to get his/her camera […]

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18
Mar

Surveillance Vehicle Toilet

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Surveillance Vehicle Toilet

Honestly, it was pretty difficult to select a title for this article.  In reality, this article discusses how to install a “urinal disposal system” in your surveillance vehicle.  Often investigators are conducting surveillance and are unable to even open the vehicle door to dispose urine as they are concerned of arousing the subject’s suspicions.  To […]

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13
Mar

Tablet Navigation

Posted by | No Tags | Equipment · Vehicle | Comments Off on Tablet Navigation

  Using a navigation system is essential for surveillance. You need it to locate your subject’s residence, to know where your subject visits and routes taken by your subject. But your navigation serves the following purpose: you need a large screen navigation for pursuit as it is crucial an investigator is aware of the surrounding […]

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10
Mar

Surveillance Vehicle: Computer Monitors + Ram Mounts

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Surveillance Vehicle: Computer Monitors + Ram Mounts

Frequently my surveillance case are two or three day stakeouts with multiple investigators. As my van is setup with plenty of battery power and cooling options, I am usually the investigator who remains stationary on top of the subject’s residence. This provides me with benefit of having a few extra seconds to put my stuff […]

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07
Mar

Fog Lights for surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Fog Lights for surveillance

In my opinion, it is necessary to have more than one set of lights on your surveillance vehicle for night-time pursuit.  Having more than one set of lights will allow you to change the vehicle’s appearance when pursuing a subject on streets with scarce traffic.   Adding fog lights is one of the easiest methods […]

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03
Mar

Surveillance vehicle curtains

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Surveillance vehicle curtains

Curtains in your surveillance vehicle are essential for surveillance. If you do not use curtains during surveillance, you WILL get burned sooner or later. Curtains also keep the vehicle much cooler.   Most likely, you have seen my other post in this blog that described how I tinted my windows and why. The upper portions […]

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01
Mar

Surveillance Van Organization

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Surveillance Van Organization

Organization is KEY to surveillance. If your gear is not organized, you will end up losing valuable surveillance time when trying to locate your cameras or you will end up losing your subject by taking too much time to stow your gear when the subject departs. There are many ways to ensure that your surveillance […]

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26
Feb

Dome Lights

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Dome Lights

Ever need some light during an evening surveillance? As you know, you cannot just turn on the interior lights of the vehicle.  One method, which I feel solves this problem, is installing dome lights.  Dome lights will provide you with light inside your vehicle and will not draw the subject’s You can’t turn on the […]

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25
Feb

Cell Phone Mount

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Cell Phone Mount

As a surveillance investigator, it is important that I have easy access to all my devices (cellphone, camera, tablet, etc.) while I am on surveillance, so I am not distracted by having to look for something while monitoring a subject. Specifically, I need my cellphone in a position that will allow me to easily use […]

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24
Feb

Rain Guards/ Vent Visors

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Rain Guards/ Vent Visors

This product tends to go by multiple names, so call them what you wish! Nevertheless, this product is a MUST! They are cheap and take seconds to install.  When you’re sitting on a long day of surveillance in the sun and cannot have your vehicle on without arousing suspicion, fresh air is extremely important. The […]

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23
Feb

Homemade Cooler Unit for Surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Homemade Cooler Unit for Surveillance

For those super hot summer days, the floor vent is not enough at times. When it is over 95 degrees outside, the floor vent will keep the van temp at about 86 degrees. However, this cooler mod + the floor vent working together will get the van temps down to about 80. There are awesome […]

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10
Jun

Surveillance Vehicle Power

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Surveillance Vehicle Power

This write-up will include 3 parts: Dual Batteries, Fuse Block, & Inverter. We will start with the dual battery setup. Disclaimer: I am not an electrical expert. This project was a learning experience. This will not be a step by step guide like my other articles. This will point you in the right direction and […]

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09
Jun

Brake Lights Kill Switch

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Brake Lights Kill Switch

Ever need to backup a few feet when it’s dark and wish you can kill your brake lights?? That happens to me often. So this is how I installed a toggle switch for my brake lights. Disclaimer: This may not be legal in your state so please do your research and do this at your […]

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09
Jun

Floor Blower

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Floor Blower

After installing my RV fan in the floor of the van (which is my favorite mod of all time now!), I noticed it’s a pain in the butt to operate when sitting on the drivers seat. It’s rare that I am in the drivers seat for a long time but sometimes it’s the best view […]

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14
May

Floor Vent

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Floor Vent

The best cooling other than an AC is a fan. RV roof fans get great reviews and my friend has one in his van which works great. So I decided to install an RV Roof Fan. I used the Fan-Tastic Vent Model 4000 which I bought on Amazon for $142. I chose this model because […]

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04
Mar

Aerial Surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Equipment | Comments Off on Aerial Surveillance

There are MANY options for Aerial Surveillance. And there are probably better articles on using drones than this one. However, I am writing this from a prospective of a private investigator that needs a tool to help him in investigations and isn’t willing to spend hours weekly playing with little drones. Point is, that for […]

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14
May

Tinting

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Tinting

After some debate, I chose to use ceramic tint. My setup is unique and I will explain why… Front Windshield:  5″ Strip on top is tinted 20% Entire windshield tinted 80%. This is to allow less heat into the vehicle. Front Passenger & Driver window tinted 35% All other windows including the rear are tinted […]

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03
May

Buying a Surveillance Van

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Buying a Surveillance Van

I was always against minivans for surveillance because they were always slow 6 cylinder bricks. However in the past few years that has changed. The Toyota, VW, and Dodge/ Chrysler have stepped up their game. SO I figured it’s time to try out a minivan for surveillance. After 8 years of conducting surveillance, my back […]

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04
May

Tearing it Apart

Posted by | No Tags | Vehicle | Comments Off on Tearing it Apart

The first thing I did was tear the van apart! Well not really, that will happen eventually. I pulled out the middle and rear seats. I will be installing a captains chair on tracks soon. To pull off the rear seats all you need is a phillips head screwdriver and a 15mm socket. Takes less […]

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08
Dec

Unmanned Surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on Unmanned Surveillance

Every surveillance investigator wants to utilize unmanned surveillance. I have tested out various methods and will be describing my findings and opinions on all of them. This is not a how to article, this article is written so you can learn from my experiences rather than spending valuable time and money making the same mistakes […]

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15
Oct

The Characteristics of a Surveillance Investigator

Posted by | No Tags | Technique | Comments Off on The Characteristics of a Surveillance Investigator

I read a ton of articles on how to be an investigator… with great detailed instruction, but none of them ever go into detail on what type of character you must have, probably because there are too many conflicting opinions and frankly, because going into this detail will involve a lot of judgments and stereotypes… […]

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05
Sep

Panasonic V520 & V720 tips and tricks

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment · Technique | Comments Off on Panasonic V520 & V720 tips and tricks

I apologize that this tutorial is without vids or pix but I am booked and have little time. However many of my colleagues own these cameras (that I strongly recommend) but do not use them to their fullest. –        Pre-Record There is a pre-record function on the camera that I use often. If you turn […]

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03
Oct

GPS Tracking device reviews

Posted by | No Tags | Equipment | Comments Off on GPS Tracking device reviews

This is a review of most of the available tracking devices that are battery powered and advertised to private investigators. I tested out most of the tracking devices available during the past 4-6 months and have reached definitive conclusions for myself. The reason why I am publishing this article is because I am tired of […]

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02
Oct

Motion Sensor for Surveillance

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on Motion Sensor for Surveillance

Ever get tired of staring in the same spot for 12 hours??? I’ve been testing motion sensor applications for a while now but the problem I found was sensitivity. Basically a motion sensor that will be able to properly work needs to recognize pixel changes on your camera. I’ve been playing with a software program […]

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05
Jun

2012 Surveillance Camera Reviews

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on 2012 Surveillance Camera Reviews

If you aren’t too knowledgeable with cameras, please read my article on what is expected from a surveillance camera here: Choosing a Camera After you finished the above article and are now more familiar with camera features… please read on… There aren’t many camera options for P.I.’s and options are getting slimmer. I reviewed every […]

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14
Aug

Covert Cameras

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | Comments Off on Covert Cameras

Bluetooth and remote cameras are growing in popularity so I decided to run some comparison tests. Personally, I buy my covert gear on e-bay, usually directly from China. I get my covert gear at 50-80% off for similar to identical quality that is being sold at most PI gear stores. I have personally seen identical […]

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27
Jul

Filming Quality

Posted by | No Tags | Technique | Comments Off on Filming Quality

This is what your video should look like. The subject is mostly centered on the screen, her entire body is visible at all times, and there are no violent movements as the camera moves to follow the subject. Note that when the camera started to record, the subject was already centered and the camera was […]

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15
Jul

Choosing a Surveillance Vehicle

Posted by | No Tags | Equipment | Comments Off on Choosing a Surveillance Vehicle

I have opinions on all type of vehicle’s and believe that certain style vehicles are good in certain locations. In general I will say that if you plan to have one vehicle, it must be a small, powerful SUV. A sedan is too small to be conformable in, and it’s difficult to hide in the […]

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15
Jul

Setting Up your Vehicle

Posted by | No Tags | Equipment | Comments Off on Setting Up your Vehicle

Every P.I. is going to have his or her own preferences when it comes to gear when setting up your surveillance vehicle. I am just listing the basics in hopes of getting you motivated to take the extra steps to have a properly set surveillance vehicle. RAIN GUARDS Rain guards are important on hot summer […]

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14
Jul

Choosing a camcoder

Posted by | No Tags | Cameras · Equipment | 1 Comment on Choosing a camcoder

There are several things to consider when choosing a camcorder for surveillance, each function is discussed below. ZOOM Zoom is extremely important when choosing a camera. There are two zooming features on a camera: Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom. Optical zoom is the feature that matters most. This is when you video will be in […]

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14
Jul

Date/ Time stamp on your video

Posted by | No Tags | Technique | Comments Off on Date/ Time stamp on your video

Too many licensed investigators inquire on how to put a date/time stamp on their final videos. I would like to comment that this is unacceptable. If you are a licensed private investigator and are conducting surveillance, you should know this! If you do not know how to put the date/time stamp on your video DO […]

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