For some time, Rugen Team Investigations has been wanting to add a reliable unmanned surveillance option to its services for clients. The time is now.
Effective immediately, we will now offer our law clients as well as public clients the option of an unmanned surveillance vehicle for use as a mobile video surveillance. Types of vehicles used will vary depending on the neighborhood, however,they will be equipped with cameras that offer a panoramic view of a target’s residence, business location, outside motel room, or other venue.
At first, persons who are not familiar with the law or legal licensed surveillance may have issues with this concept. However, Rugen Team Investigations always conducts surveillance in a legal manner. As the owner, I contend that no amount of money on any case is worth my career. I have turned down cases from potential clients who have asked us to do otherwise.
It all goes to what is called a reasonable expectation of privacy. Anything that is in public view is fair game for surveillance cameras. For example, it is illegal to videotape via a zoom lens inside a residence’s windows. Similarly, it is my belief (I am not a lawyer) it is illegal to look into someone’s fenced backyard from an area you couldn’t normally see into it without enhancements of some kind (a ladder, cherry picker, etc.). However, once a person opens their front door, they have allowed the world to view them, thus no “reasonable expectation of privacy”.
With that explained, there are incidents where a law client or personal client may just need to see the comings and goings at a location via a stationary camera. One example is that it is hard to prove drug dealing in a home. However, if you observe several vehicles coming and going at all hours and you can document license plates, your attorney could subpoena those drivers for deposition and gather evidence that could prove this case.
Another example is a client who may have a very limited budget but needs to see if their significant other could be cheating on them. By placing a vehicle parked on a public street unmanned for 24 hours or more, the video can later be monitored for activity. This could be as much as a 40% cost savings from manned surveillance. Or, with a better budget, you could have both the unmanned vehicle and manned vehicle watching a location. This would allow the licensed investigator to leave the location to follow someone while also leaving the unmanned vehicle behind to see what we would otherwise be missing.
One more example would be watching an outdoor accessible motel room for hours at a time. If all you need to know is if someone has entered and exited the room that the target is in or even if they are dumb enough (many times they are) to kiss them goodbye at the door, then an unmanned surveillance vehicle could be the answer.
With SD cards, we can currently tape up to 32 hours. However, the card could be replaced discreetly early in the morning or late at night for additional surveillance hours.
With our new camera units, each one will provide a split screen view. Half of the screen will be a regular view from our surveillance vehicle, while the other half of the screen will be zoomed in.
As technology continues to improve, Rugen Team Investigations will continue to offer their clients these types of legal options to get the information they need. For more information, contact Ron Rugen at 1-800-643-6674, ext. 3 or visit pacelawfirm.com.
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