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The decade was 1970ish and I was trucking my butt up and down the state of Florida doing suveillances almost every day. Had a nice van with air conditioing but naturally, you couldn't keep the air conditioning running for very long when you were waiting for someone to move. Most of my surveillances were roofer type people with a worker's compensation claim so i was always happy to be up a 5:00 AM in the morning to be on the job by 5:30--and always happy when the guy moved just as the sun came out but many times they didn't. Setting in a van all morning (and sometimes all afternoon) waiting for someone to move in ninty to one hundred degree weather in the summer time will certainly give you the case of the"helter swelters" (as William "Moon" Mullen calls it as the title of a forthcoming book!) My solution to the problem was to install these little fans all over the inside of the van that ran off a seperate battery. I also used a large water cooler filled with ice water that had a pump hose on it so I could water myself down now and then. Several good towels were always on hand. Without breaking the law, dress was always as naked as I could be. Shorts, no shoes and no shirt. I always kept extra changes of clothing around of course. You never know when someone is going to come out dressed in a three piece suite you may end up having to tail on foot in a place in which shorts and sandals with no shirt will make you stick out like a sore thumb.
My funniest memory is this one: After a long long six hour waiting period on a case that only one investigator was used, a neighbor came up to the car and asked, "Could I help you?" My response was--you shure can--here's five bucks--could you run down to McDonalds and get me a quarter pounder with cheese, a large fry and three cokes and would you fill cooler up with cold water again? If I'm gone when you come back, you can have the food--I will be back later for the water cooler. From previous assignments of this case, I had assumed the subject would be out by 10:00 AM but he was not and I ran out of water and never had any breakfast.
Ralph Thomas
Personal Home Page

I had one built several years ago. It was a pain to lugg around,it would only cool a small section at a time so I had to keep the van sectioned off, I had to have an extra battery all the time and at five in the morning, I didn't want to have to go buy ice. And then after all that effort, I was still hot. In other words, I hated it. So that is the summer I learned how to "blend" not hide on surveillance. I still get hot... but I don't swelter in the van all the time. If circumstances prevent me from finding a comfortable way of doing surveillance, I resort to my "Aunt Jemima" look with an bandana filled with ice tied around my neck. Funny looking but true.
Deborah Rose
DCR Enterprises - Tx License A-07031
(972) 272-0829 (972) 272-1904

One investigator in sunny Miami area (go Seminole!) says NO to dry ice, then
one in the north says it's the best........?
Since the one in the south says dry ice will KILL YOU, is this a sequel to
the "Conspiracy Theory"? Ummmmm.... Something to ponder!
Johnny L. Boyd, Private Investigator
Tallahassee, Florida

Try this:
Get a large Coleman type ice chest and fit a piece of pink foam insulation or
a piece of Styrofoam (about 2 inches thick) into the top. Cut two holes in
the insulation/Styrofoam and put a car heater fan, or any small 12V fan into
one hole (cut to size of the fan) and then fill the chest with block ice (it
last longer) and a small amount of water. Hook the fan into a lighter plug
and then to a 12V deep cycle battery, if you don't, you guessed it, it will
run down your battery. The fan will blow air over the ice water and out the
other hole you cut. The pink insulation/Styrofoam is so you don't cut holes in
the ice chest and it can be used as a regular cooler later on. VERY
It produces CARBON DIOXIDE and will KILL
Hope it helps.
Jack Yuen
Yuen Investigations, Inc. (Florida License #: A 9700158)
PO Box 924489
Homestead, FL 33092 (South FL)
Voice: (305) 258-2147 Fax: (305) 258-2054 Pager: (800) 709-4397
Member: NAIS; PI International; IPA Region 43
In a van in the summer months you would be crazy not to have a roof vent and fan working. This brings in plenty of fresh air to keep you alive. The same applies to using a propane heater in winter. I have done thousands of hours in vans, under all conditions, and have built
several for federal, state and local agencies. Check my web site under 'services' for an in-depth description of the vans I build.
R.L. Lesnick
Gamma Investigative Research
PO Box 10981, Fairfield, NJ 07004
Licensed New Jersey/New York
(800) 878-9393 / (973) 227-1415 / Fax: (973) 882 0960
Member: ASIS, NALI, NABI, WAD, GIN Network (Charter), FBI-Marine Assn,
E-Mail: / /

It's interesting to see the south coming forth with the warnings...
(Just humor, not to offend anyone.)
Johnny L. Boyd, Private Investigator
Tallahassee, Florida
Forget tinted windows in place use black mesh inside of black curtains. Windows can be opened part way and air can come through the mesh. Have roof vent installed. Drink plenty of water. Have some ice to wrap in a towel for your forehead. Small electric fan and extra battery. Have battery installed in your engine compartment. The fumes can be dangerous in a closed vehicle. Do a recon to know where to park remembering that the sun moves all day. Be sure if possible to be in the shade in the afternoon. Insulate your van, particularly the ceiling. if possible in a city
environment park close to intersections as there is more chance of a breeze there. Wear light cotton clothing. Sprinkle water on your clothing and the fan will evaporate the water cooling you. Canvas shoes seem to be best in hot weather. Have as ventilated seat or fold a wool blanket over 4 or 5
times and make a seat cover out of it. Strange as it may seem it will feel cool.
Warren Levicoff
These are from my about to be released book "Helter Swelter (Surviving
Summer Surveillance in Arizona)
Stay out of the sun
Drink plenty of water
Shorts, tank tops and sandals
Drink plenty of Gatorade
Charge summer rates for surveillance (especially if you live where I do)
If possible work at night
Don't drink soda's...drink water
Invest in No. 45 sun block
Drink more Gatorade
Accept the contract and hire competent sub-contractors to conduct the
William "Moon" Mullen
Firestone Investigations, Post Office Box 12288
Glendale, Arizona 85318-2288
Office 602-572-8910 Fax 602-572-8925
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