For the most part, planting GPS tracking devices on vehicle is a reasonably trouble free pastime. One simply picks his time carefully and when circumstances (darkness, no traffic, no dog walkers!) allow, deploys the device to the target vehicle and returns home, normally to sleep as while the early hours of the morning lend themselves well to covert Ops, they are not so forgiving if one has to work again the following day.
Occasionally though, these bug plants hold a host of surprises that one doesn’t discover until he stands facing the target vehicle. It is just one such occasion that I would like to share with you today...
Let me paint a picture for you: It is 0230hrs on a cold Wednesday morning and I find myself in the most rural the UK’s country sides, tracker in hand, with what can only be described as a rundown Georgian mansion looming out of the darkness in front of me. Having already negotiated the 500 yard gravel driveway in pitch darkness without being seen, I am now lying on the lawn opposite the property on my front, surveying the area and trying to spot the target vehicle in through the gloom. Suddenly, I am jolted by the an unfamiliar ‘thud, thud, thudding’ sound. I lie in silence for a good 20 seconds until I work out that the sound is not coming from around me, but is in fact my heartbeat, which in the perfect silence, beats like a drum inside my ears. It was true here that the silence truly was deafening and without the advantage of clear sight, all of my remaining senses were peaked and it has to be said, that each one was screaming at me to turn around and head back to the car!
Having seen one too many Horrors films in my time, my imagination was filling my head with scenes of savage dogs bounding through the darkness from the house towards me, or of half man half beast creatures lying in wait to grab my foot as I ran past!
Composing myself and shaking out the images I take a breath, climb to my feet and hunched over, run for some trees immediately next to the property in order to get a better look at my target car. Running past a large oak, I jump as a flock of birds are woken by my footsteps in the trees around me and frantically rush from the canopy into the night sky. Stopping and again dropping to my stomach, I spot the car ahead and make final preparations to the bug before silently creeping across the parking area. The thought enters my head that unlike a city deployment where you have a maze of streets to run down should anything go wrong, I couldn’t shake off the thought that should the halogen security lights of that property suddenly go on, I would be lit up like a Christmas tree and my only escape would be down the driveway from which I had come, giving the occupiers way too long to take action. All that aside, within seconds the bug is deployed and I follow my footsteps back to my car, which is parked some mile and a half or so away in one of the adjoining country lanes.
Driving back to my home town, I was smiling as I pulled into a Petrol Station for a celebratory Mars Bar. The police, as usual, were using the same facilities to stock up before starting their night shifts. I nodded to a couple of them (as I always do) and walked through the store. I noticed that they all seemed to be staring and were gathered in the corner of the store, watching my every move. Thinking nothing off it (I was after all, out at what was now 4am dressed in blacks wearing 8 inch combat boots) I made my purchases and left.
Unwrapping the chocolate on the forecourt, I sat back in my chair and glanced at myself in the rear view mirror. Then I remembered: Before I had left the office earlier that night, I had taken the precaution of covering my face and neck in black camouflage paint to aid my mission...