Why you are missing contraband when searching cars!!!
Have you ever had your gut tell you that you missed something during a vehicle search? Have you ever sat on the side the road scratching your head post vehicle search thinking “I have all the signs, indicators and behaviours…I know he has something…but where is it?” If you are not using professional vehicle search tools…i’m going to bet that you’ve had this feeling.
In the end, you can’t keep them any longer and you have to let them go. Load and all!!!
I damn well have…I’ve lost sleep over that kinda shit. As much as I try not to take my work home with me…my ego and competitive side has other plans. I take it personally when I think a drug running piece of shit has beaten me in the game that is Criminal Interdiction.
I mean, I’m apart of a big blue team that are supposed to be experts at this stuff! I research, I learn, I debrief crooks, I debrief other cops when they find cool stuff…so when I have to hand somebodies licence back knowing that I have missed something that I could have locked them up for…it does haunt me a little bit knowing they were better than me ‘this time.’
Adult hide and seek
Criminal Interdiction (a fancy name for the interception of criminals, NSW and VIC guys will know this as CATCH) is a big adult game of hide and seek. The crooks hide the drugs, guns, money, people (insert other contraband) and we seek it out for glory and riches…well, maybe some overtime. No glory.
But, as the cops, we are at a disadvantage from the very start. The crooks have had weeks to plan where and how they were going to hide and disguise their contraband. We have minutes on the roadside to figure out they have something and then find it.
Depending on the criminality and whether your crook is a common thug or a high level smuggler, you can expect to have to look for a variety of hides, traps and methods of concealment throughout your search.
“we can all find gear on a gear head…that’s like finding a cigarette on a smoker or an intern under Bill Clintons desk.”
The user, the Thug, and the Smug(gler)
There are 3 types of people that you are going to find contraband on. These people are separated by the level of organisation in their operations.
The stoner/junkie user are not going to have their dope hidden in a $20k trap. They are more likely that it will be in their pockets or under the seat. No biggie there…we can all find gear on a gear head…that’s like finding a cigarette on a smoker or an intern under Bill Clintons desk.
A mid level street dealer is probably hiding his ounces and elbows in a natural void within the vehicle, maybe a renovated airbag compartment or a magnetic box in the engine bay. A little harder to find if his has invested some time into it.
A high level smuggler though will most likely be in a purpose built vehicle with 1 or perhaps multiple hidden compartments (traps) within the vehicle. They will be well disguised, hard to locate, then even harder to open if you find it. These traps can be built into places you have never even looked during a vehicle search. Have you ever checked along the driveshaft tunnel for a built in shelf?
Most of these are hard to find when you are actually looking with appropriate tools. They’re even harder to find when all you have is a set of latex gloves and don’t look any further than the glove box, the centre console and under the passenger seat.
“I now tend to think that professionalism is a saving grace not a benchmark for pussies”
What are you searching with?
Let me guess…a Leatherman? A screwdriver? Just your eyes and hands?
Don’t get me wrong…full respect that you’re out searching cars to start off with. But if you are missing all the good stuff…what’s the point? Nobody goes fishing for game fish with a flathead rig.
As with any trade, the right tools make any job more professional and easier to do. Imagine a carpenter trying to cut flooring with a tile saw? Why is that different to a police officer searching a car without vehicle searching tools?
I admit…for the first 4-5 years of my career, I was a Leatherman guy. I had some good successes but I know that I missed stuff. The Leatherman tools would dent and break plastic rather than letting them flex, and pop, they would leave gouges and scratches and would often cause the trim plugs to become un-usable. But worst of all, it didn’t offer the leverage I needed to properly peek inside compartments, cavities, nor could I pull panels with any force.
I damaged a lot of people cars using the Leatherman tool. Some may have been less accidental than others. To this day I still don’t really care if find contraband, but when I don’t I think it looks unprofessional and now I have a few more years, and complaints under my belt, I now tend to think that professionalism is a saving grace not a benchmark for pussies haha.
It’s not good searching a crooks car, finding nothing on that occasion and breaking a bunch of stuff whilst doing so. This gives them the upper hand for a complaint or claim for damages against you. There is nothing worse than the Cops having to give bad guys money.
So how can you easily improve your searching game?
EASY…USE THE RIGHT TOOLS!!!
As I alluded to before, the right tools for the job are key. Motor vehicles have thousands of areas that can be accessed quickly with the right vehicle search tools. Leo Pro Gear have sourced the perfect, professional vehicle search tool kit for you to add to put straight in your kit bag, glove box or even in the molle webbing in your load bearing vest.
These tools are made from a high density polyethylene plastic that is strong enough to ‘dodge, duck,
dip, dive and dodge’ your way through thousands of vehicles without breaking panels or leaving obvious damage on soft plastics and vinyl’s that make up vehicle interiors.
Using professional search tools mean you do less damage, you get less complaints, you look more professional which is extremely important. Imagine the look on your crooks face when they see you rock up to the window with a hand full of professional search tools. You’ll wipe the cocky smiles right off their faces.
Our kit comes with both narrow and wide type panel removers, interior plug pullers/removers; a pull remover for stubborn panels and, a lever tool. With these tools and some focus, you could have a full dash, seat backs, doors and liners open in minutes revealing the goods.
These tools are simply essential for properly searching cars. You look the part, you don’t open your self up for complaints, you WILL find more, you WILL find it easier and more efficient.
For only $25.99 (which includes postage) Leo Pro Gear can have them in your kit bag within a week and best of all, it’s a nice little tax deduction at the end of the year.
Why not ask your department to buy a set for each car in your department? We are more than happy to quote them up for multiple sets.
Buy our search tools here: https://leoprogear.com/product/professional-vehicle-searching-tool-kit/
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with what he have on offer on Facebook and Instagram.