FBI, ATF, DEA, US Marshalls


The world of cops and robbers has a side that’s not always seen by the public. In fact, many cops don’t have the opportunity to see some of what their undercover counterparts are up to. The intelligence gathering devices used by police are pretty sophisticated, allowing the secret cops to safely conduct surveillance operations. Satellites and GPS technology have become as much a part of police work as pistols and patrol cars.

Spying on the bad guys has never been easier. Unfortunately, this technology has also made it easier for crooks to keep tabs on the police. Here’s a look at a few of the cool toys used in the Spy v. Spy part of law-enforcement:


The Tracking Key is a magnetic GPS tracking system that easily attaches to any vehicle. This particular device uses Department of Defense satellites to pinpoint the location of the target vehicle within 2.5 meters. It also records these locations for future reference. Users are also able to monitor the movements of their target from any PC or laptop. Uses 2 AAA batteries and is capable of tracking for up to one month with limited daily use. $300.00



The QickTrack (no, I didn’t spell this incorrectly) GPS tracking system attaches to any vehicle. The system is capable of hooking to any land line telephone or cell phone for real-time monitoring. By connecting the receiver to a cell phone the user can track the target vehicle while traveling in another car or truck. Capable of 40 hours of constant use. $1,300.00


Anti-Kidnapping Devices, such as the one pictured above, send out silent distress signals at the onset of trouble. The unit’s receiver tracks both UHF and VHF signals to zero in on the missing person. $1,500.00


Hidden Camera Locators are used to find almost any hidden camera, including pinhole cameras and camcorders. A quick sweep of a room with this device assures officers that it’s safe to proceed with their clandestine meeting. $2,500.00


No need to fret over hidden transmitters in your office and home ever again. This pocket-size mini-bug detector will locate each and every one. An audio tone lets you know when you’re close to the concealed device. Perfect for locating audio and video devices. $160.00


Tired of arch enemies constantly bugging your phone lines? Well, worry no more. This digital line guard is the perfect de-bugging device. It automatically senses and deactivates all listening devices, including those attached to fax lines. Makes a wonderful gift for that special someone. $700.00


Traffic tickets piling up in your mailbox? Does your nemesis find you by running your plate number through DMV? The solution to your problem could be this handy-dandy anti-photograph spray. A quick squirt on your license plate reflects camera flashes, sending them back to the cameras that sent them. The returning flash blurs the picture. This material will not wash off, ever. It’s also undetectable. $35.00

Here’s a link to a news video that shows real cops testing this product. It works, sometimes.


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* Charlotte Daines – I accidentally deleted your email regarding police information for your book. Please contact me again. If anyone knows Charlotte please pass along my message.

8 replies
  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    SZ and Elena – The spray is illegal in some states. Yes, it can effectively hide plate numbers from cameras by causing an overexposed photo image. But not in every case. I’ve seen it work, and I’ve seen it fail. I think that perhaps the angle, or brightness, of the sun has something to do with the results.

    I’ve added a link in today’s post to a news story about the spray. It shows an actual test of the product by police officers.

  2. Elena
    Elena says:

    There was an episode of Mythbusters where they tried all the ways people had said could outwit the cameras. None worked. One was a spray. I don’t know if it was the same spray, but the one they tried had as much effect as spraying your license plate with water. None!

    As for legal applications, that’s a bit trickier since the topic is spyware which supports situational legalities. I can’t think of an everyday legal purpose for this product, but that’s not to say there isn’t.

  3. SZ
    SZ says:

    Ok, all jokes aside, I have to ask. Who made this spray up and how is this legal ? What other purpose could it have other then avoiding the law ?

  4. Bobby M
    Bobby M says:

    Man, I love Spy vs. Spy. It’s truly a classic. And I just love looking at spy toys. I have a couple of books on them. I can’t really say what the fascination with them is. But for my money, nothing beats Agent 86’s ever trusty shoe phone.

  5. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Will – I can’t speak for Boston PD, but I can’t imagine that they’d take the time to check for tracking devices.

    We once had an officer who was up to no good, so I stuck a tracking device on his take-home patrol car. It didn’t take me long at all to connect him to some illegal activity. After that episode, everyone began checking their cars to see if I was watching. I wasn’t, of course, but in that business you never know.

    SZ – Makes you want to whisper in your own home, huh? Oh, do you have OnStar? They can listen to you using that equipment, too. 🙂

  6. Wilfred Bereswill
    Wilfred Bereswill says:

    Ok, Lee. I have to ask. Do the police, lets say in a major city like Boston sweep there cars for tracking devices?

    It might be nice for criminals to know where the squad cars are. At least in a high tech novel.

  7. SZ
    SZ says:

    Lee, please, you are starting to scare the children ! heh heh

    I got one of those tickets from a traffic signal camera. Pushed a yellow light. They send you four pictures. One of the front and one of the rear plate. Two of you.

    Not a normal habit, however, that spray may have come in handy back in 2003.

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