Fugitive Hunting Strategies
The primary job of a bounty hunter is to locate and apprehend fugitives that have failed to appear for a court date after posting bail. Because of the dangers involved it is necessary for a fugitive recovery agent to know the proper strategies and tactics to complete their task in a safe manner. So how do you begin to hunt for a fugitive? The situations change and many times the proper method to track a person will have to change on a case by case basis, however these are some general guidelines to keep in mind when tracking a fugitive.
First and foremost it is necessary to know your target. Learning the history of the fugitive is imperative to apprehend them in a safe manner. Some questions a fugitive recovery agent needs to ask are:
Is the fugitive a violent offender?
Are they known to carry firearms?
Do they have any previous military or martial arts history?
Do they have a drug history?
Do they have a history with mental illness?
These questions can tell a bounty hunter a substantial amount about the safety precautions they need to take once the target is located. Based on this information the bounty hunter can determine if it is better to attempt to apprehend the subject in a public location, at their residence, or if someone is able to turn them in.
It is also important to determine if the target is in a relationship, if they own a vehicle, have any known locations of residence, hobbies and their common hang out spots. If for example a fugitive is known to like drinking a bounty hunter could start by asking around local bars to gather additional information.
Finding any contacts associated with the fugitive is another area of importance when attempting to locate an individual. First abounty hunter would want to contact the person who signed the bond as they are ultimately responsible for the appearance of the bailee. In many cases this will be a parent of relative who are concerned with the wellbeing of their loved one. In some instance they will work with the bounty hunter or bail bonds company to assist with the apprehension of the fugitive, however there are just as many instances of family and friends trying to throw off bounty hunters.
It is important to assess early on whether the family and friends of the fugitive are cooperative or whether they are trying to conceal the bail jumper. This will ultimately lead to the strategy that the bounty hunter will need to employ to successfully detain their target. In some instances it is essential to feed the fugitive’s contacts with misinformation in order to allow them to lead the subject into a trap.
The use of proper equipment can make the difference of saving lives when apprehending a fugitive. Non lethal weapons are preferred by most bounty hunters due to the backlash of an investigation from law enforcement officials in the event that the apprehension turns deadly. A dead fugitive as well will not return the bond cost for the bail bonds agency. A bail bondsman and bounty hunter are in the business of capturing targets and bringing them in alive to face justice.
Along with adequate non lethal weapons a bounty hunter must have the proper protective gear including bullet proof vests, gloves, and clothing that suits a foot chase. The vehicles used by a bounty hunter should also conceal their stakeout operations while not appearing inconspicuous in the area surrounding the stakeout location. Changing vehicles frequently as well as the actual agent conducting the stakeout operation can dramatically improve its overall effectiveness.
In some instances it is necessary to carry a firearm depending on the criminal history of the bail jumper. Many bounty hunters do carry firearms however there is an equal amount that rely primarily on non lethal weapons. Handcuffs are another item that allbounty hunters should carry. Once a target is detained they will ultimately need to be transported back to the police station so an effective transport vehicle should be considered as well to ensure the proper levels of security for this task.
Staking out a target’s location is one of the most tedious and unrewarding aspects of being a bounty hunter although this is imperative in locating a subject. Many man hours are spent remaining patient and determined waiting for a fugitive to slip up during their run from the law. Watching the families’ area or residence, local gas stations, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, dry cleaners, restaurants and laundromats are areas that are commonly observed because they provide services which almost everyone is bound to use at some point in their day to day lives.
Staking out a location is much more effective in smaller communities as there are less locations to manage and a particular individual is easier to notice in a smaller community. Despite the effectiveness of this strategy it is one which is employed in practically every man hunt.
Detaining a Fugitive:
Once a fugitive is located a comprehensive plan must be devised to apprehend the subject in the safest manner possible. If the fugitive is a flight risk a trap will have to be employed to ensure they do not escape the fugitive recovery team tracking them. Failing to detain a fugitive on the first attempt will commonly spook them resulting in the target laying low and taking further precautions to remain in hiding. This results in additional man hours to re-locate and apprehend the target, and since a bail bonds company is typically on a timeline to bring their subject in this can waste valuable time to recover the cost of the bond.
The strategy and tactics used by a bounty hunter once the subject is located will ultimately determine the success of the overall operation. Making the first apprehension attempt count will typically separate the successful and unsuccessful bounty hunters. Ensuring the proper equipment is available is another area that must be assessed in a detailed fashion by the fugitive recovery team. Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, or mace or even a taser for that reason.
Strategy, tactics, foresight and the proper equipment are essential to tracking and apprehending a fugitive successfully. This is one of the most difficult aspects of working within the bail bonds industry. In many cases a bail bonds agency will have a team of bounty hunters separate from their bail bondsmen so that each team can focus on its area of expertise however it is just as common for a bail bondsman to take on the role of the fugitive recovery agent due to lack of resources.
However these jobs are divided an essential aspect of the industry is the knowledge and employment of proper strategy in a variety of situations. The training of a fugitive recovery agent must mirror that of law enforcement of military personnel in order to provide an effective operating team that can maintain longevity through situations of adverse conflict.
bailbondsguys – About the Author: