Being a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, I will tell you that most of the information here comes out of the Lee Lapin’s book How To Get Anything on Anybody. A few of my friends and I have used most of these methods before in various “Killer” games. Believe me, these are the best methods that I have ever seen.
A, B, C, Method of Tailing
A time proven method of tailing a subject is to use a three man team which alters its positions according to a pre-arranged (and pre-practiced) system. This method is very, very difficult to detect as the subject is never given too long to make any team member. In this system the A man follows the subject. B follows dear old A and C parallels either A or B. When the parade reaches an intersection, C speeds up and crosses or turns ahead of the target. This allows C to keep him in view in case he enters a building or turns an unexpected direction. As C turns the corner, A slows down, stops to look in a window, or turns into a shop while B speeds up to take A’s place. After a decent interval A steps out, finds B’s back and tails him. In order to exchange B (who is now in A’s original position) at the next corner, B crosses the intersection if the subject turns (or vice versa), C walks across the street and takes up a position behind the target. C is now in A’s spot, B in C’s, and A in B’s…. Next corner A speeds up, passes subject who has turned the corner and pulls a quick “U” turn out of the target’s sight, walks back and parallels the subject (in C position), B (in ex-C position) crosses over and takes the position of the behind the target, C drops back and takes the rear ass position.
This method is a favorite of such notable people as the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI. The person who occupies the B, or tail ass position has the dual function of watching out for the target’s buddies who may also be tagging along (usually behind, but sometimes parallel) to spot a tail. If such a hinderance is spotted, B can often lose him by breaking off and taking the target’s tail with him, only to ditch it at a convenient point.
Ditching a Tail
This is an art usually picked up from watching detective shows on television, or through osmosis…. However, it is a definite art.
STOP: Turn a corner and pull over, watch who follows. Pull into a large parking lot and stop; see who enters. Go down an alley and pull over out of sight. (If you do this at night, remember to take your foot off the brake pedal. I can’t tell you how many people we would have passed if it had not been for their brake lights.) Watch for auto AND FOOT tailing at this point. If you have someone else in the car pull over and drop them after turning a corner, go back later to retrieve and see what was observed. Leave your car and see what happens pull over after cresting a hill….
GO: Speed up and slow down abruptly making it hard for anyone to follow smoothly. Drive the wrong way down a one way street, see if anyone has the nerve to follow. Run a red light. Drive into a dead end street, turn around and see who is passed on the way back out. Pull a quick U turn in the middle of a block, speed up and see if other cars do the same.
Always have a pair of good binoculars in a tail car. they are useful to let you sit back and loose-tail for a change, turn a corner and check out who has parked, or to follow a target who makes a light you miss, and they will effect a much better view after dark due to their light gathering qualities. Another very important piece of equipment is to have all autos in your team equipped with communications. CB walkie talkies work great.
This system is used when trafic is too light to close-tail and the subject is likely to make someone. Generally speaking, you drive parallel to the subject, but one block over. During the block one speeds up enough to catch a glimpse of the target at the next intersection and then parallels him again. It is very hard to make a tail who is using this method, but easy to lose him if made. It is very important to know both where the street your target is using and where your street goes at all times. If you have three cars, you can parallel ABC. It is recommended that there be at least two people per car, one can concentrate on spotting, and one on driving.
Another alternative that often works is to tail the target until he turns a corner; now the second man in your car gets out, hustles around the corner on foot and ascertains where the target is. He then signals the tail car when it is safe. It moves around the corner and picks up the foot person. Combination tailing helps defeat the most commonly used burn method; the target turns the corner and pulls over and waits to see who is following. He will rarely suspect someone on foot at this point. If one does turn a corner only to find the target sitting there, or getting out of the car, one should go past in a normal fasion, turn the next corner and try to reestablish tail position, or radio someone else to tail while that person parallels for a while.
The safest method of either foot or auto tailing is not to tail at all. In the progressive system, the tailer, so to speak, watches the target leave his residence and observes him until he makes a turn, or goes out of sight. At this point one may want to also make the turn and observe which direction the target took. The next day the tail places himself further along the route, just past the point where the target was lost on the previous mission. The procedure is then repeated with the observation progressing along each day until the destination is observed. Obviously, this method requires a lot of time; however, this disadvantage can be overcome with enough man power by placing a series of men along a possible route and keeping in tough with radio until the target has been tailed, but not tailed, to his ultimate goal.