Larry’s weakest link… and what it means to you!

Everybody online is trying to teach, sell, or present themselves as an expert and they put on this facade that they never make any mistakes. Oh sure, back in the beginning they slept in their car and it was so hard, but now they’ve figured out the answer and everything is super easy for them.

I’m going to be a little scandalous today. I’m going to tell you not everything is easy for me! I have some weak spots in the security and investigation world where I am a bestselling author and course creator.

If you feel like you’ve got some weak spots in your game, read on, I’m going to tell you about two of mine, how I fixed them, and how that relates to you.

Look. Here’s the thing. I’ve got two spots that are ridiculously gaping holes in my skillset.

1. All faces look the same to me.

One of my weak spots is that I am terrible at identifying people by their faces.

You hear people say all the time say they’re “bad with names but I’m good with faces.” They say, “I recognize you but I don’t remember your name.” Well, I’m exactly the opposite.

I’m really good at remembering names but terrible at faces.

Now, if you’re a P.I. or Process Server you understand the importance of being able to identify people!

You’re doing surveillance. You see somebody come out of the house. You look at the photo, you look at the person, and you look at the photo. Is this my subject? Is this the person? That’s very challenging for me. It’s very difficult. I usually have to base my identification on something else. There’s the key that I want to share with you.


If you’ve got a weak spot like, for me, identifying people, I compensate for that.

On faces, I concentrate on that little divot beneath the nose, right above the upper lip. That’s oddly distinctive in a lot of people, if you really look at it and pay attention. Also, the divot in the chin or a dimple in the chin can be a real help for me. I have different spots on the face including ears, for example, that help me identify a person.

I know my weak spot, so I compensate for it by having these very specific things that I do.

There are other “cheating” methods I use. For example, I’m a real big believer in watching the shoes of somebody, because people tend not to change their shoes as often as you might think. It’s not an iron cast rule. But shoes tend to stay the same, or at least get used again.

By the way, if you’re ever in pursuit of somebody, in a foot pursuit, chasing and trying to catch them. When they go around a corner, notice the shoes. They may shed a jacket, a hat, or try to change a shirt or lose the shirt. You come around the corner and now he’s in just a t-shirt. Is it the same guy? Watch the shoes. They cannot change the shoes during a foot pursuit.

But I’m terrible with identifying people by face. So I’ve compensated. That’s what you need to do with your weak area!

2. All cars look the same to me.

I’ll give you another very candid example for me. I don’t know cars. Nothing about cars. Nothing.

A yellow Maserati and a yellow school bus are exactly the same vehicle to me. Well… obviously, I can tell the difference there, but a Toyota, a Honda, a Ford, and a Chevy are all exactly the same cars to me!

If they didn’t have that little emblem by the trunk or on the grill, I would never be able to tell you what that car was.

So how do I compensate for this?

Pro Tip: If I know a particular car I’m looking for, I do go online ahead of time and research the make and model so I know some unique feature of that car.

Here’s the other thing… I know I’m just not going to recognize a car by make or model. I know that ahead of time. I’m not going to be able to tell what it is. So I default to things that I can clearly identify.

Things like color, the number of doors, and whether it’s got a hatchback, etc. That gets me in the ballpark, for starters. Even that two door or four door thing can help you in the heat of the moment.

You’re doing surveillance again. The garage door comes up and a car backs out. I don’t know if that’s a Honda, a Toyota, or a Nissan. I just don’t know. But it’s a dark gray four door. Okay. That’s what I’m looking for! There’s a much better chance that this is my subject than if it was a two door. Knowing that subtle little thing (gray two door), gives me a clue in the right direction.

The Fix

But the real thing that helps me with vehicles is that I’m really good at memorizing license plates and recalling license plates.

There’s a subtle art to this. I’ve always said that I’m going to make a product to teach memory tricks and memorization to investigators and security professionals, but I’ve just never gotten around to that. But, there are some wonderfully effective tricks taught online. I’m sure you can pick them up.

But, since I’m really good with license plates that helps me compensate, especially on surveillance, process serving and crimes in progress. Yeah, a drug dealer might change his plates. It happens every now and then. People use stolen plates in crimes. You’ll see that all the time. Plates will get changed and cars will get dumped. But, most things, even in our crazy world of infidelity investigations, workers compensation scams and criminal rip-offs, the plates tend to stay the same. I compensate for my weakness in not knowing vehicles by being very good at memorizing license plates.

I wasn’t always. You know my story. I started out as a part time private security guard, putting on that polyester shirt and cheap tin badge and tugging on doorknobs to make sure they’re locked. I went from there to state license private investigator, owning and running my own agency for nine years.

I started out being one of those guys who said, “Oh, I’ve got a terrible memory.”

First of all, stop saying that about yourself! If that’s one of the stories you’re telling yourself, stop it. You can remember a lot more than what you think you can. A freakish amount, if you learn a few tips and tricks about it.

But here’s the REAL SECRET…

St. Francis DeSales talked about this.

When an enemy comes to attack a city, they walk around the city and look. They do recon!

They see the wall is built a little bit lower over there. Oh, the stones are falling apart over on this side. That gate only has one guard. The others have three. The enemy circles the city, looking for the weak spots, and knows where to attack.

St. Francis DeSales goes on to explain this is your spiritual life. You know where your weaknesses are. The devil’s going to attack you there. You know it’s coming, right? Study up those places now!

Here in the investigative security world, you also know your weaknesses. You know if you have trouble with one thing or another. Now is the time to compensate for that. I’m not saying you’ve got to be great at everything that is a weakness for you. Play to your strengths, for sure, but there are things that are basics and fundamentals need to know. What do you struggle with? Now is the time to find a fix and begin working towards it.


Do a self-evaluation. What’s your weak spot in security and investigations? Find a way to compensate for that. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to me. I will try to answer as many as I can and let you know a possible strategy you can use to approach your weakness, shore it up, and make it a little bit stronger.

And, as always, do the right thing, even if it’s the heard thing.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – Want more solid info like this? Then don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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How to catch a fleeing car on foot.

Attention security guards and loss prevention officers: You see it in the movies all the time, but if you know what you’re doing, you can chase down a fleeing car on foot!

Here’s how…

Look ahead for a choke point where the car will have to stop. Maybe because it’s stuck in traffic.

If you see that, race to THAT spot and boom, you’ve caught up to the car!

But it’s like the old joke about the dog chasing a car. He doesn’t know what to do if he catches it! Have a plan. Know what you can and cannot do!

Don’t follow these words blindly!

Security Guards and Loss Prevention Officers, take this advice and compare it to what other experts are teaching and… Don’t be a follower. Be a student!

And, obviously, follow your company policy as well. Duh.

It’s like I always say:
Do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

How to Make a Citizens Arrest
How to Make a Citizen’s Arrest at Amazon.

P.S. – And, of course, don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Process Server Badge for Sale.

At times, it can be vitally important to be able to identify yourself as an authorized process server quickly in order to be successful and server the court papers safely and at times like that you may wish you had a process server badge. Now you can!

I only have one process server badge and holder I can recommend and it’s from First Defender Tactical Gear.

This is a badge that’s permanently mounted on a leather holder so it never slips. Plus it comes with a dog tag chain to wear it around your neck covertly and pull it out only when you really need it. I love that!

Also it has “hook and loop” closures (like Velcro brand closures) so you can wear it on your belt and it ain’t coming off ‘til you take it off!

If this is something that’s legal in your area and you think it would be a valuable piece of process server gear to have in your toolbox, then I highly recommend you get one at

This Process Server badge is perfect for the professional conducting the business of serving court papers. Finally, a law enforcement quality badge for process servers!

And, of course, they have safe, secure check-out!

In the meantime, this is Larry Kaye reminding you to do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.

Committed to your success and safety,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – Yes, I do make a small amount of money if you buy from them, but it’s from them and that mean you don’t pay any extra by using my link. Check ‘em out!
Process Server Badge for Sale.

P.P.S – If you want this exact badge for FREE, it comes as a bonus when you get my course The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Process Serving!

Client Call: Surveillance “for my divorce”.

Here’s a call you will get from potential clients as a private investigator and it’s usually from a wife asking for surveillance on her husband who she believes is being faithful, and she’s going to want it for her divorce. Let me tell you why this call is a problem.

When you get a call for surveillance you have to be successful at them. It’s one of those things. If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Usually, this call I’m teaching you about today is from the wife and she’s suspicious that her man’s being unfaithful.

The Phrase

The key phrase that I really want you to catch is she will say she want the surveillance “for my divorce.”

The Problem

The problem is, in a lot of states, it doesn’t matter if he’s cheating or not! There’s what’s called no-fault divorces. That’s the way it is in my state. Every divorce attorney will tell you it doesn’t matter if the guy is cheating. It does not matter. It will have no bearing on the divorce whatsoever.

I’m not a lawyer. And I can’t say that that’s absolutely true. I’ve just heard this over and over again from my clients who are attorneys.

But, here’s the thing…

Whether that’s accurate or not, here’s the thing you need to explain to your potential client. You have to explain to her that his cheating may not make a difference in the divorce.

One Way to Go

I always tell the potential client, “Look. I am more than happy to do this for you, but you’re going to want to get with your attorney and determine what he or she needs to make a stronger divorce case for you. Then, if at all possible, I’ll then go get that.”

If the attorney needs the person spending two or three consecutive overnights with someone, then I can try to get that. If that happens, I can go out and capture that through the use of surveillance. If the attorney needs the cheater leaving town or spending money on hotels, or whatever it might be, I can work the surveillance to try to catch those things the attorney needs.

The Better Way to Go

The key thing is to find out from the attorney what he or she needs to make a stronger case. And the best scenario for me and usually for the client is to have the attorney hire me directly. Working directly for the attorney has many advantages for the client and me.

But, Here’s the Truth…

I explain this to clients or potential clients, and then here’s what happens. You’ll discover that the phrase “for my divorce” was just the fig leaf to cover the her intention.

Really, she just wants to know.

  • Sometimes, she wants the proof because she really knows in her heart he’s cheating, but needs to see it to go forward.
  • Sometimes she wants to catch hi so she can throw it in his face.
  • Sometimes she wants it because she genuinely doesn’t know if he’s cheating or not and she doesn’t want to make a rash decision based on just a gut feeling.

For any of those reasons, yeah, I can do surveillance for her and find the truth.

When he says that his mom is sick and he’s going out-of-town to spend the weekend with her to make sure she’s okay, we can follow him and see if that’s really what happens or not. But, the idea that she’s going to use it to further her divorce case is where you’ll run into problems.

For the rare client where that’s the true intent and not just the covering that they use to make themselves feel better about asking for surveillance, then you definitely want them talking to the attorney first, or, even better yet, you want the attorney to hire you.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – If you are a surveillance expert and have worked in the real world doing these things, please, I’d love to hear your contributions to this discussion!

Click here to learn more about The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Surveillance. (Now on sale!)

Car Lot Security Guard Tip

This week I have a tip of special interest to my brothers and sisters who work as security guards about when a person breaks into a car, but it’s not to steal things and it’s not even to steal a car!

If you work for a car lot for any length of time, you’re probably going to find this…

I see this with homeless men who break into cars. It’s not to steal the car. It’s not to steal anything in the car, but it’s just to have a place to sleep, to get them out of the weather – the snow or the rain – or even just to have a softer place to lay down.

What you’re really going to see, is a guy going through a car lot, tugging on car doors to see if the door is unlocked and opens.

They’re not even really “breaking in.” They’re not busting out windows or anything like that.

I’m not excusing it. I’m not saying you should let that go. Just recognize it for what it is.

Of course, trying car doors is something you’ll also see from thieves.

Mostly, you’ll see that in neighborhoods. It’s usually younger people going around trying different car doors.

When I started out working canine patrol for private security, I could drive through a neighborhood and would find, in the middle of the night, a car with the dome light on. What that almost always meant was that someone had tried the car door, found it open, stolen the change out of the ashtray in the car, and instead of slamming the door and risking waking somebody up, they pushed it shut and walked away, but didn’t realize the dome light was still on because the door was slightly ajar.

Bonus Tip

I will give you a bonus hint if you come across something like that. Where you see one car like that, there are others. If you find that one car that’s been broken into in that way, check the cars around it. There are probably others that have been broken into as well.

I teach more about that in my post on The Rule of Plus One.

In the meantime, this is Larry Kaye reminding you to do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.

Committed to your success and safety,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – And, of course, don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Key ideas this week:
car broken into on private property
car broken into nothing stolen
how to tell if someone tried to break into your car