This week I’m revealing a police “dirty trick” I never thought I would reveal online. (See “Tactic 3” below.)
After an officer pulls over a car, he evaluates the driver and the circumstances. If the officer determines he needs to search the car (and here’s the trick) the officer calls for back-up before telling the suspect he’s going to search the car.
There is no reason to notify the possible bad guy any earlier than necessary. If he knows the car is going to be searched and if he knows there’s a weapon or drugs in the car, that guys the bad guy a lot of time to think about which instinct he wants to follow… fight or flight.
And that’s dangerous for everyone.
When an officer is searching a car and he finds something illegal (like a gun or dope), if it’s safe to do so, the officer might pretend to “miss” the contraband. In other words if he finds a baggie of dope under the driver’s seat, the officer might pass it over as if he didn’t see it.
Since everyone in the car knows where the dope is they are all nervous. When they see the officer “miss” the dope they relax a bit.
The driver (and others) thinks they “got away with it” and the instinct to fight or flight lessens. This give the officer a real tactical advantage.
The bad guy thinks he’s free but the officer knows exactly how he’s going to proceed over the next few minutes. This makes things much, much safer for everyone.
Now all the searching officer has to do is covertly communicate his intentions to the back-up officer who’s keeping an eye on the suspect.
Here’s the trick I will only reveal here…
This works for police officers, but Loss Prevention Officers, asset protection and even some security guards will find it useful.
Imagine this scenario…
Two police officers have a driver out of his car. On officer is watching the suspect while the second officer searches the car.
The searching officer discovers a loaded gun in the glove box with a baggie of dope. He knows they are going to arrest the driver.
The searching officer uses trick number two by “passing over” the gun and dope so the suspect thinks the officer may have missed them.
The searching officer comes back to the suspect and distracts him with a question asking a harmless question the suspect knows is not a problem. So the officer might circle around to a previous question he’s asked saying something like, “So, who’s this car registered to?”
The suspect isn’t worried because he knows it’s his car and properly registered so he answers.
Then the officer ask, “So who’s Beatrice?”
And he officer watching the suspect (knowing what’s happening) places the suspect in handcuffs.
What just happened?!?
The officers know that (sometimes) it’s best to make the physical arrest when the suspect least expects it. This prevent him (or her) from preparing mentally and physically to fight or run.
The trick here is the officers have a code word or phrase that tells the other officer, “We are making this arrest.”
In this case the bad guy is distracted with a softball question (and the other officers understands this is a set up for the arrest). In this example: “So, who’s this car registered to?”
Then the code phrase means “make the arrest”. In this example the name “Beatrice” or the phrase, “So who is Beatrice?” is the code phrase for “make the arrest”.
The whole point is to distract the suspect mentally and to make your coordinated arrest before he can prepare to resist.
This is safer for the officers and the suspect.
What do you think of this tactic? Should you notify a suspect before you cuff him? Is it best to take him “by surprise”? Maybe the best tactic lies somewhere in the middle. Comment below and let me know what you think.
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – If you like learning tricks like these, you may also like my #1 Best Seller, so be sure to check out 51 Dirty Tricks Bad Guys Really Hate: Sneaky Tactics used by Police, Private Investigators and Bounty Hunters. Check it out at 51DirtyTricks.com
Keywords: 2 and half dirty tricks, 3 dirty tricks, three dirty tricks, June 19, June 19th, 51 Dirty Tricks Bad Guys Really Hate
Everything is situational. This might work flawlessly given the right combination of circumstances however if it doesn’t work flawlessly it more than likely will end up horribly wrong. I like the idea of code phrases to alert your partner. This is smart. But “surprising” someone with the cuffs may wind up working against you if you have a fighter on your hands.
I love your work, thank you for sharing.
Yup, you definitely don’t want to surprise them. It’s a fine line between letting them know what’s happening, but not letting them be prepared for it. I’m a big fan of saying, “I’m going to cuff you for your protection and mine” then keeping their mind distracted with a question while I cuff them. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!