How to Conduct a Stake Out

A stake out is the surveillance of an area, building, or person, especially done by the police. Even if you aren't part of the police, you still may need to go on a stake out. Read this article to find out how.


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    Be unnoticed. Conduct the stakeout from a rented car. If you use your own, you may be noticed. Try to find one with tinted windows.
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    Conduct a "spot check" of the location by driving by once, and get a perspective of the area before permanently setting up your position.
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    Park on the opposite side of the street' from the place you're surveying. This will make you less noticeable to people.
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    Jump in the back seat, if your vehicle has tint you'll be less noticeable.
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    Bring a friend or two to help. They may notice something you don't, and it's best to have more than one for other circumstances.
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    Try to notice any suspicious activity coming from the person or building you are observing. Record whatever you see so you have visual evidence of the person or people you are looking at.


  • Bring adequate water and snacks, you may be out there a while.
  • A viewing or recording device is usually handy.
  • Covering up the licence plate is a good substitute if you can't afford to rent a car. Also, getting a plain looking "paper plate" from a local car dealership can be a helpful alternative.
  • Bring an extra large empty water bottle (like the large mouth Aquafina 1 liter bottle) because you'll have to pee at some point. If you are female you may want to use an old pitcher. You can find them at the dollar stores also.


  • Someone may approach you, have a good story made up about why your out there.
  • Don't bring more than three friends with you. More than that will get you caught.
  • It's probably wise to ask the police before doing this. You could get arrested unless its just for fun.

Things You'll Need

  • Water or some kind of other drinks
  • Snacks
  • Video camera
  • Car with tinted windows
  • Some friends
  • A couple excuses on why you are there
  • In many cases, a lot of time
  • candy
  • binoculars

Article Info

Categories: Spying