Making Sure You’re Not Followed

Making Sure You’re Not Followed
Making Sure You’re Not Followed
Making Sure You’re Not Followed
Making Sure You’re Not Followed

This past weekend I taught my Spy Escape and Evasion course in Las Vegas. I had a great group of students who were among the fastest ever to escape from the trunk of a car after being handcuffed.

Among the topics covered during the course were surveillance and counter surveillance. I talked about the story of the Connecticut family who had the home invasion and the mother and two daughters who were murdered, and the father – Dr. Petit – who was the sole survivor.

What most people don’t know is how the home was targeted in the first place. One of the criminals spotted the mother and daughters out shopping earlier in the day. The family looked wealthy to him so he followed them around the store and eventually out to their car.

Their car…

When he noticed they were driving a nice car he got into his own vehicle and followed the three women all the way to their house and noticed they lived in an expensive house.

Later that night when the criminal and his buddy were together looking to “score” some money, the first guy mentioned he knew where a rich family lived and they probably had cash in the house. The two criminals broke into the house and after spending over eight hours in the home they murdered the wife and two daughters.

The fact is, this could have happened to a lot of folks, which is why you constantly need to be aware of your surroundings and check to make sure you’re not being followed. This is especially important for gun owners.


Because criminals love to stake out shooting ranges and then follow someone home because they know that person has guns in the house and they can rob them. Every time I go shooting, or purchase a gun, I am always careful to make sure that nobody is following me around or following me home.

The good new is, it doesn’t take much effort to make sure you’re not being followed. Since most criminals are amateurs – like the dirt bags that murdered the Petit family – simply drive around the block if you think you’re ever being followed. In other words, never go straight home. And if you’re truly frightened and sure you’re being followed, drive to a police station or hospital.

And finally, if the stuff truly hits the fan while you’re being followed make sure you’ve got a way to protect yourself, which in my case is my gun (usually a Glock 19 or a Ruger LCP.) But if you don’t have a gun, use your knife, tactical pen, or any other weapon you can find… But again, the best thing to do is to be aware of your surroundings in the first place.


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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Larry O

jason, you should be commended for this article and others you’ve posted …america needs to be AWARE!

Consider taking three left turns if you suspect you’re being followed … then ask yourself: Why didn’t the car behind me just take a right turn, in the first place?


Right turns are always easier to make, safer and you’d know sooner if you were being followed. No crossing traffic, you can take rights on red etc. No? In fact, UPS plans their routes around the least left turns. You’re basically just going in a circle (square) so why not do it as quickly and safely as possible?

Talmon Burke

> Because criminals love to stake out shooting ranges and then follow someone home because they know that person has guns in the house and they can rob them.

I am curious if you have data to back that statement. I don’t argue that one should be situationally aware, particularly at the times you mention, nor that this has never happened. However, I am wary of us making blanket, scare-tactic statements like gun-control advocates do.

So, where did you learn that criminals routinely (“love to”) follow shooters home?


Well you have to consider who is making this statement. This is “Jason” and as he said, he just finished giving his Harry Houdini escape classes. Do you seriusly need to know much more?

Talmon, you are 100% correct. Jason has ZERO basis for such ridiculous statements. I worked nearly 30 years in law enforcement, mostly withn the prison system. I can absoutely tell you that most criminals do not sit around outside of Gun Ranges waiting to follow obvious armed and trained gun owners home so they can take them on as Jason would now have us all believe.

In fact, most criminals are cowards at heart and want nothing to do with armed and trained citizens. Why would they when there are so many unarmed and helpless potential victims out there to be taken on with so little trouble. Take a serious look at the credentials this author is presenting and then ask yourself does any of this even remotely sound credible. ‘Nuff said.

William D Tipton

Wow…what a naive rant.
So in YOUR ridiculous opinion because YOU have never crossed anyone who ADMITTED to committing a specific type of crime then, by default, it cannot ever happen????
Sorry but your argument sounds as asinine as some of the tripe Ive heard from family members…

What ‘most’ criminals are is irrelevant.
What SOME criminals ARE is all that matters.
SOME criminals ARE VERY bold and VERY intelligent and VERY determined….and THOSE are the ones WE will assume is representative of the masses of felons so WE, unlike YOU, dont UNDERestimate the felon and end up dead because we just assumed they were dumb as rocks.

Honestly, you dont sound like you were ever in any sort of law enforcement. Ive talked to a LOT of LEO’s and ALL of them have given me the impression that it is ALWAYS the best idea to be 100% aware of your surroundings and to watch everyone, everywhere.


Well Tipton . . . judging from your chronic juvenile name calling all over the place (even toward your own familiy members . . . bet they just love you huh?), I’d say you’re probably a youngster who has failed to mature but I’ll respond to you as an adult.

Is it possible a criminal can strike anywhere? Of course. I never said this COULDN’T happen. I merely said I highly doubt most criminals sit around gun ranges for this purpose and I’ll stand by that statement. If you or Jason have police data proving that criminals “LOVE” (Jason’s words) to sit around gun ranges targeting gun owners then I’ll await YOUR publishing of THAT proof!

A few cases doesn’t make for a problematic pattern. You and Jason are entitled to your own opinions, but not entitled to making up your own facts. We don’t need paranoid alarmists here. We need intelligent honest data. Let’s not fabricate or exaggerate problems merely to write an article every few days here.

Jason very clearly is implying that criminals are targeting gun ranges with some degree of regularity. You asked for a direct quote attesting to that and so I’ll quote Jason’s exact words as fellow poster Burke did as well :

“Because criminals LOVE to stake out shooting ranges and then
follow someone home because they know that person has guns in the house
and they can rob them.”

Those are Jason’s exact words. If they “LOVE” doing this then this clearly implies that gun ranges are particularly problematic for criminals hanging around with the intent of targeting gun owners. So there is the quote you seemed to have difficulty locating. Tipton . . . reading is fundamental . . . do try and keep up with the other adults here.

Finally, my decades of real law enforcement work (which clearly you don’t have) doesn’t need to be justified to you. Crime can indeed strike anywhere, but irresposible statements trying to instill fear in gun range employees and patrons serve none of us particularly well given the absence of any meaningful data to back up a claim that criminals “LOVE” targeting gun ranges and their patrons. No doubt you’ll post back with some ridiculous juvenile name calling response (you’re type usually does) but I’ll let you have the last word because kids usually insist on it.


Remember the infamous FBI shooting incident in Fla., those guys would go out to remote places and listen for folks target practicing and drive up and kill them for their guns. Then they made the FBI rethink their tactics by killing and wounding several agents.


Couple of years ago in central Florida that did happen. They knew the wepons were no longer loaded since they had left the range, followed them to their house and robed both of them.

Dan Ess

Why didn’t they have a loaded weapon with them? Going to a range and not having a Conceal Permit to carry as you leave seems like an accident waiting to happen.


You don’t have to have a concealed carry permit to have a loaded handgun in your car within reach in the state of Florida. I live in FL and have a concealed carry permit but if you don’t; you DO have to have it in a zipped pouch OR a snapped holster OR the original box it came in. You can have in sitting on the seat under those conditions. Otherwise, you can just stick a loaded handgun in your glove box. Check with the FDLE website for more info.


I live in central Florida and I guarantee you that I’ve at least one gun loaded when I leave the range or am anywhere else for that matter. Who leaves the range with no ammo? Not at the gun club I belong to.


How would you know someone’s weapons were unloaded after leaving the range? When I leave the range the gun is back on my hip loaded with JHPs and one in the chamber.
Were these guys fortune tellers?
And why were they robed? Shouldn’t they have been dis-robed? That would have made them more compliant and easier to assert control over…

William D Tipton

Talmon…I think its fairly naive of you to actually believe that criminals arent pretty much EVERYWHERE you are. Crime statistics say you are simply wrong. Crime happens everywhere. If you choose to be a naive victim thats on you, but crime happens.
There have been cases of people shooting others, including their own family members, in shooting ranges….so are you actually ignorant enough to think that a criminally minded person might SHOOT another human being in range….but no felon would EVER think of hanging out in one to follow someone home?

jim thompson

Thank-you for this timely article. I think as the economic policies of the Obama administration continue there will be more and more desperate people resorting to criminal behavior just to survive.

W. Love

I think the topic of discussion was about being aware of your surroundings. And I apologize to the moderator for me going off topic but: The Presidents’ Administration and economic policies has nothing to with to do with the creation of “present and per existing crimes. Now if you want to blame a President start with Ronald Regan. It was his Reganomics which started this down fall and all the other Republicans behind him who followed his leadership.

William D Tipton


jim thompson

It is true that criminal behavior has been around for a long time…all the way back to when Cain killed Abel, Genesis 4:8. However, the fact remains that criminal behavior is escalating and the policies of the Obama administration, especially with such concepts as “redistributing the wealth”, are not only doing nothing to alleviate the problems, but are going to make them worse. The current headlines are not much different from Romans 1:29: “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” We have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25.

W. Love

Respectfully Mr Thompson, I’d like to thank you for the quick theology lesson, nonetheless you should have just jumped into the book of Revelations with its predictions and damnation’s ! Look, the point that I’m making is that President Barrack Obama is being, in my opinion, unfairly targeted. Do you really believe that he is the first President to conceptionally speak of “redistributing wealth”, which I still fail to see the connection between “policy” and keeping vigilant .

jim thompson

The center of man’s being is his thoughts. The incessant verbalizing of “redistributing wealth” encourages and promotes jealousy and envy, which I don’t think is unintentional. These thoughts translate into such things as coveting, which translates into robbing, stealing, etc. That is why I think crime is going to get worse as time goes on. It’s not all Obama’s fault, but his policies are facilitating it, which I also don’t think is unintentional. As for the book of Revelation: The ultimate message is one of hope and salvation. “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22: 17. God Bless You.

Thank you for the reminder, Jason. We should always be aware of our surroundings, and perhaps even more so during the holiday shopping season.


thanks i didn’t even think of folks at a gun range that might follow folks home to get other folks guns but it could very well happen and good to keep in the back of your mind going to and from …….. btw love reading these informative articles and thank you all for the great work


Because I am disabled and look like an easy mark, I always keep looking around me.

Being situationally aware does not mean you are paranoid

This can happen ANY time and Place any more , it is VITAL to ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings and people also . My wife always tells me how she feels safe with me as I always watch people and cars around us at ALL TIMES when we are out and about .


I have no data myself about the “gun range” follow problem. But I read a while ago it was a problem in the southwest with a rash of such incidents in a short period of time.



the real diehl

Far fetched? One of my sister’s in-laws had a situation where two men approached the car of the 20 year old nephew at a stop light. They pointed a gun at him drug him, out of the car and said, “take us to your house, we’re going to rob you and if there’s nothin’ there will kill you and your family.’ The kid’s family did not have any thing so he took them to his uncles house, who was pretty well off. He knocked on the door, they forced their way in and tied up the adults, robbing, threatening and menacing after they had pistol whipped the uncle. The thieves took a lot of valuables, but no one was seriously injured. No one was ever caught but the woman of the house decided she wanted a gun and asked my father to teach her how to shoot. You never what is going on in side somebodies head or what they are willing to do. If the kid would have been aware he could have done what my dad had told me to do in that situation. Never stop at light with some in front of you in that neighbor hood. Always leave room to exit, and if someone approaches the car go through the light or drive over them if you have to, just don’t let them get too close to the car.

colorado mountain mama

I just cannot undertand why the haters even take the time to spew….just go on to the next article. Please – this world is full of enough people who are nasty and bored. Point of the article is…..MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT FOLLOWED…if it is not of interest – do not read. Geez….

colorado mountain mama

thanks for the great info Jason – as a woman who drives A LOT with my two kiddos – this is very appropriate and timely info….keep writing….


This was in this morning’s ‘paper’. One note here, if politics HAVE to come up, this took place in one of the most heavily Democrat populated areas of New Mexico. two local bumper stickers seen here say “another Republican chanting ‘OM SHANTI’ and the other says “Another gun toting Liberal”. On to the article…

A 35-year-old woman told deputies that she shot and killed a man
after he allegedly barged into her Alcalde home on Saturday and tried to
undress her at knife point.

Rio Arriba County sheriff’s deputies responded to the woman’s 911
call at her house off County Road 39, north of Española, at about 11
a.m. Saturday. According to search warrant affidavits filed in state
District Court this week, the incident began when the woman heard a
knock on her door and opened it to a man she didn’t recognize.

“While [she was] trying to speak to the unknown male,” one warrant
states, “he walked in forcing his way through the front door.” The woman
told police that the man — later identified as Lawrence Sandoval, 33,
of Taos — said “he had followed her home from the gas station.”

The man picked up a knife from the woman’s kitchen table and told
her, “Nice blade you have here,” the warrant states. She told him to
leave, according to the warrant, and ran to her bedroom.

The woman told police that Sandoval had said, “That’s a good idea,”
according to the warrant, but instead of leaving her home, he followed
her into the bedroom.

The man allegedly put the knife to her chin and told her to take off
her clothes. “He grabbed her and tore her shirt while he pushed her onto
the bed,” the warrant states.

“She told him to stop or she was going to shoot him,” according to
the warrant, but apparently he didn’t take her threat seriously: “The
unknown male subject replied telling her, ‘You will not shoot me.’ ”

As Sandoval continued to push her to undress, the woman told
deputies, she reached under her pillow, grabbed a loaded gun and pointed
it at him. She told investigators the man “continued to come toward her
placing his knee on her,” so she pulled the trigger.

The woman told deputies that she ran out of her home after shooting Sandoval because she was scared, and then she called 911.

By the time Alcalde firefighters and an Española ambulance arrived on
scene, the warrant says, the man was dead, with “signs of trauma to his
face and head.”

No charges have been filed in the shooting.

Investigators found a 9 mm Luger on the woman’s bed during their
search of her home over the weekend. They also found a knife under the
bed, which she said the man had used to threaten her, and a shell casing
on the floor.


These days you have to have your head about you. Don’t be an easy mark. There is some great advise here. That you for the article. Peace

William D Tipton

Great article.

Ive done this a number of times and it has probably saved my wife and my own life one time in PA when we were traveling back to NYstate.
A car was behind us but we were out on the highway and I didnt really think much about it since it was a long stretch of road that anyone could have just been taking the same route we were.
I turned off to check the map and this car pulled off behind us. No big deal at first but just to be sure I pulled back onto the road casually and drove about another 300 yards and pulled off again. The car pulled right back off behind us again.

I pulled back out onto the road and this time drove about a mile down the road and instead of pulling off to the right I pulled off on the left side of the road into an little lot that had no businesses or any real reason for anyone to go in there and sure enough this car pulled in behind us. I pulled back out onto the road and this time the driver seemed to figure out that we werent going to allow him to get us stopped and he drove back the other way.

I dont care WHERE you are at…criminals are around somewhere…its the epitome of naivety to believe we are ‘safe’ anywhere other human beings are. Someone, somewhere has something wrong to do in mind and while it may not be you they target, it may very well be.

I live my life believing that most human beings are good people, but keeping my eye on all of them because I dont know which one might actually end up being a criminal.


I was followed from work once and then hit at home the next day. It does happen.

Dan Ess

The possibility of being followed from a gun range are in my estimation, lower at a gun range than from a shopping mall. It also would be much easier to be aware of being followed from a gun range; less traffic leaving regularly. Rarely is anyone leaving the range I go to when I leave the lot. I go during the mid afternoon, so it’s not like the range is empty either. Being aware of your surroundings is always important, especially during the holidays and when it is dark outside when you are shopping. Be Alert, Be Aware, Be Watchful.


Great piece of advice. I drive truck and that’s one thing they teach us is to always be aware of your surroundings. Especially at truck stops, where criminals hang out to see what they can steal. But I guess you don’t always think about this happening around your home, where your suppose to feel safe. Great article. Thanks for the eye opener.

Stuart Friedman

Crooks look for places we drop our guard out necessity or a previous sense of comfort. My wife got pick pocketed inside the sterile zone of an international airport. She was on guard before but dropped her guard.

This guy talks about how to deal with a tail when you suspicious that you are being followed. I presume that any crook with an IQ of over 100 would hang back and keep a car between himself and he car he is tailing. During crowded times, this is much harder to spot. If he is driving a distinctive car, it is one thing, but say it is a gray Honda (the most widely stolen car in the US). It blends into the surroundings.

Doing a one car tail properly is very difficult. Most police surveillance teams use two or three cars but know where to fallback, use parallel streets, etc. Crooks (who look for tails) may have picked up a few tricks. They are going to sandwich a car between themselves and you. If you are turning on to a side street, they are going to delay the turn or go one block over in the old grid style neighborhoods and come in at the next cross street. If you don’t cross it, they will turn right and look up the driveways.

My suggestion is to play mental games during your boring non-suspicious drive homes. Try to remember the cars behind you one, two, three cars back. Look forward and recite them back to yourself. Make it a bit of a game and you are going to start doing it subconsciously, not only when a 1980 something car with an unmatching paint job is behind you.

I wasn’t aware that there was a car theft problem at truck stops. Auto-burglarly and truck hijacking (by pros). My experience is that most car thief’s want a little more time before a car theft is detected. Commuter lots, shopping centers, movie theaters, office parking lots, etc. My average time in a shopping mall is 45 minutes; my average time in a truck stop is under 10.

Mike in Vegas

Taking into account crazy shit does happen, I would rather train for statistically relevant events like carjackings, robbery, home invasions, etc… I try to be situationally aware at all times. I once got into an elevator with my wife in our former residence. Just as the door was about to close, a ragged looking apparently high individual put his hand in the closing door to open it and then entered. He did not push a button for a floor? I immediately noticed his hand in his jacket pocket holding a long screwdriver. My hand also went into my coat pocket where I pointed my Ruger LCR at his torso. I glanced at him, then his pocket, then looked him directly in his eyes, then nodded towards my pocket. Only then did he hurriedly press the button for a floor to exit and jumped out ASAP. My heart was beating so fast! After he got off, I asked my wife if she saw what was in his hand. She said she had no idea all of that had taken place.
While its likely some criminals could follow someone home from a range, I have yet to see statistics showing its prevalent enough to be alarmed over. That will still not change my awareness, but I think it’s alarmist and irresponsible to put fear into the public over statistically insignificant stuff. Show me Jason where you’ve heard this.
I don’t train for escape from car trunks and evasion because while possible it is at the end of the possibility spectrum or me. Maybe I’d consider training like that after I’ve exhausted all other training opportunities. Maybe if I was a spy or a high value target or a security contractor in Iraq. But a sales rep


You will never know you are being followed because if someone spends a few hundred dollars they can cache a GPS recorder or cellular modem/GPS device on your car and track you at will. One can be built fairly easily these days as well. The day of being followed is well over if someone has a warrant for you (to activate your cell phone tracking or can put some device in your car.


I always think of this article when I hear about the Zimmerman trial.