This week I answer a viewer email and explain five specific things to build (and this is important…) a layered approach to protecting yourself and your family.
As a private investigator, process server, loss prevention officer, security guard (and heck, even police officer!), you need to build a defense around where you live. And building in the style I teach in this private investigator podcast (episode 3), you will be on your way to a solid defense strategy.
The goal is to deter, defeat and delay the bad guys from getting to you.
Here is a layered approach I recommend…
1. They don’t know your name.
This can be difficult for a lot of us. After all, your name may appear in the court papers, or you may be called to testify as a witness on a case you worked.
One clever trick…
Use your middle name for everything you do as a P.I. (or process server, or loss prevention officer, or security guard) rather than the name you normally use with family and friends.
For example, if your full name is Adam Robert Smith and all of your family call you “Adam”, use only “Robert” with your detective agency. If you are hired as a security guard, tell them on day one (even in the job interview) that you go by Robert. This means if anyone comes snooping around your house or calls on the phone for “Robert”, you immediately know it ain’t a family member or a friend!
But, if they do know your name…
2. They can’t trace your name back to where you live.
This may mean a little bit of an expense. Specifically you may want to get a private mail box (PMB) or Post Office Box (POB). In my opinion, this isn’t really optional.
I like using PMB’s because they can sign for UPS and FedEx packages as well as offering you other services.
Also, make sure you don’t sign up for programs and discount clubs using your real, physical address.
But, if they do trace you back to your home…
3. Make sure your house is physically secure.
This can be a great deterrence to bad guys.
They may drive by your home and see solid doors, double pane windows, a well kept yard and no overgrown bushes near your doors and windows.
But if you home isn’t a difficult enough target to be a deterrent…
4. Make sure you know they’re coming!
This means an alarm system.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive or sophisticated alarm system, but have some alarm that notifies you (and them!) that they have breached your physical security.
A big advantage of having an alarm is that most (not all, but most) bad guys will flee as soon as they realize they’ve tripped an alarm! That’s HUGE!
And if they don’t flee right away, they know the clock is ticking and they only have minutes to be bad before they need to run because the cops may be coming.
Another clever trick…
If you have a remote siren on your alarm system, mount it far from the alarm box because if they come in, hear the siren and head for the siren to smash it (thinking it will disable the alarm), they smash the wrong thing and the alarm is still calling out for help. Even if you’ve gone super-cheep and the alarm doesn’t call for help… they don’t know that! They still have to move quick and get out because the police may be on the way!
But, even if they bypass the alarm…
5. Make sure you have a video of the bad guys.
This means a video camera or multi-camera video surveillance system so if they get past all of the other layers of your defensive security system, at least you’ll have video to present in court. If all else fails, at least you can make ’em pay for their crime.
In the actual podcast (episode three), I discuss a case study from the real world about burglary detectives and one case in particular that involved three different police jurisdictions and how they worked together (with the help of a private citizen!) to make a nice little arrest on a man and woman burglary team.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it on the home page of my blog.