To paraphrase the great Ernest Hemingway, there is no hunting like the hunting of men, and those who have done it, care for nothing else. Every moment of every day, professionals around the United States are working countless hours to find and capture bad guys who do not want to be caught. Some of America’s most wanted criminals do everything they can to avoid being located. Tracking criminals takes a special set of skills, and honing those skills ensures success.
Believe it or not, even the greatest of criminals eventually get caught. Have you ever asked yourself why that is? Some might say that the good guys always catch their man, but those in the business know better. In reality, people are people, and humans tend to do things that create patterns. With patterns comes predictability, and with predictability comes opportunity. It is that opportunity, however slight, that creates an opening for man trackers to pounce. Whether it is the guy running from child support or one of America’s most wanted, it is always the opportunity created by the bad guy that makes tracking criminals successful.
Criminals on the run understand that their predictable patterns or a trail can end their freedom. They also tend to do a better job covering their tracks when they are on the run. When avoiding captivity, America’s most wanted do a better job of avoiding their normal behavior patterns. However, humans have basic wants and needs. People have habits, vices, and desires. There are other humans that are part of our lives, and in some form or fashion, people have to travel from point to point. It is each of these things, or some combination of them, that create those opportunities for those tracking criminals. For instance, if a person is on the run but has a terrible gambling addiction, there is a strong possibility that they will somehow find their way to a casino of some sort to satisfy that overwhelming urge.
When it comes to tracking criminals, these are the focal points that provide the opportunity to capture our bad guy. There are certain things to look for, specific places to watch, and certain techniques to use.
Places or people of interest:
● Friends or relatives
● Criminal Associates
● Business partners
● Any location associated with an identified addiction or vice, i.e., strip clubs, casinos
● Airports, train stations, bus stations, and ports
● Banks, money wire businesses, internet cafes
For any man tracker, the key to a successful capture of America’s most wanted boils down to understanding everything involved and being willing to put in the time and effort. Tracking criminals requires basic skills, which need a high level of dedication to putting in long hours and chasing down any and all leads. A regular work schedule can be the first thing that goes out the door because it requires thinking like the criminal, behaving like the criminal, and hanging out where the criminal will or should naturally be. Some of these environments can be tough, some can be downright nasty, and some may even be hazardous.
One distinct advantage for man trackers in today’s world is technology. Everyone these days has a handheld computer, aka cell phone which is a jackpot of information. These devices are also notorious for the information they capture. Information such as where a person is, what a person is doing, how often they do it, and an endless bank of additional information. All of this data, combined with the ever-increasing amount of cameras and other biometric technology throughout our society, creates an easy shopping list of available resources for actively tracking criminals.
What it takes:
● Both stationary and mobile surveillance of people, locations, and cars
● Ability to blend in or hide in plain sight
● Knowledge of data capture and information technology systems that hold valuable information
● Geo location skills for electronic devices and social media feeds
● Knowledge of the basic tools of surveillance, like binoculars and long-range cameras
● Driving skills to follow a car without being spotted or discovered as surveillance
● Being extremely observant without looking like you are paying attention
● Access to data collected through different technology sources
Man trackers have been around since humans have inhabited this big rock we call Earth. Whether it was tracking to conquer or tracking to find, the long and short of it is this, tracking criminals can be daunting and challenging work. There are professionals everywhere that take on this task every day. The techniques used can vary from the most basic to some of the most complex and challenging means in this realm. Chasing and capturing America’s most wanted can be a giant cat and mouse game with very real and high stakes. However, the methods used have been time-tested and proven, and even the novice sleuth can employ them for a successful hunt.