Do you think this would make the villains seem too dumb?


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Do you think this would make the villains seem too dumb?

  1. #1

    Do you think this would make the villains seem too dumb?

    For my story, it's a thriller set in modern times, but a lot of it has to do with the police following suspects around and tailing their cars to see where they go. So I am wondering, if the villains do not spot that the police were following them around for an entire day for example, does that make the villains seem dumb, especially when they suspect the police are already onto them and are looking over their shoulders?

    Or is it plausible that the police are so good that they can follow people without being spotted at all? I suppose one method of tracking I can think of to not be spotted is a satellite but would the police have access to a satelite for that though?

    There are also helicopters, but I feel that the villains would be able to hear the helicopters at least. I mean even in the movie Goodfellas, the main character was able to spot a police helicopter following him, so would that even work?

  2. #2
    It all depends on the criminal and how well written they are. For example, one of the most interesting parts of the Death Note manga was when Light failed to notice things. He was very intelligent, but also so arrogant that he didn't realize he was being followed until it was being pointed out to him. Light simply didn't realize he would be noticed that quickly, and he's also a person with laser-like focus on his objectives. So, how focused is your character?

    Also, you have to remember that investigators are pretty well trained in tailing a suspect. It's plausible they could tail someone for a day and not get caught. Though I'd imagine some older, more experienced criminals would be the sort to watch their backs. As far as helicopters go, that's probably not terribly plausible in this day and age. Either a criminal is so low level that on foot is easier, or they're so big that someone could possibly trace them by satellite. Or their phone could be tracked.

  3. #3
    Yes. Criminals would notice.

    What era is your novel set in? If modern times you could install a GPS tracker on their car - or better, track their phone through an app.

  4. #4
    Oh okay, I thought about cell phone trackers, but the criminals are using burner phones, so I don't think the cops could find out about them. I could have it so the police can put a tracking device on their cars and use those. However, the police need a warrant to do this, and they in the plot, they do not have a probable cause to get a warrant. So it depends on how realistic the reader wants it to be. Would the reader cared if I ignored the warrant and law and just had the police place the tracking devices on the cars anyway?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    So I am wondering, if the villains do not spot that the police were following them around for an entire day for example, does that make the villains seem dumb, especially when they suspect the police are already onto them and are looking over their shoulders?
    Not necessarily. I have read some books (and watched many a crime drama) where even the smartest criminals don't notice police on their trail until it's too late, due to the wide range of tactics that police and law enforcement employ to do their jobs. The police can even have an undercover operative that is feeding them up to date information on the criminals, especially if the operative is very deep undercover.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Or is it plausible that the police are so good that they can follow people without being spotted at all? I suppose one method of tracking I can think of to not be spotted is a satellite but would the police have access to a satelite for that though?
    I remember some of the older episodes of the original 'Law & Order' where the police detectives were cleverly disguised, or so well hidden that the criminals thought they were pretty much home free. Overconfidence is usually what brings down the baddies more than anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    There are also helicopters, but I feel that the villains would be able to hear the helicopters at least. I mean even in the movie Goodfellas, the main character was able to spot a police helicopter following him, so would that even work?
    A helicopter would be a dead giveaway, unless it's in a Hollywood movie, in which it could sneak up on a city of millions, landing in the middle of the busiest street in town (and still no one sees it!).

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh okay, I thought about cell phone trackers, but the criminals are using burner phones, so I don't think the cops could find out about them. I could have it so the police can put a tracking device on their cars and use those. However, the police need a warrant to do this, and they in the plot, they do not have a probable cause to get a warrant. So it depends on how realistic the reader wants it to be. Would the reader cared if I ignored the warrant and law and just had the police place the tracking devices on the cars anyway?
    Not necessarily. The police often believe they hold the high moral ground and will mask or excuse violations of our rights to stop what they consider a bad person.

    I rode with an outlaw (1%er) biker group for a few years, and the police routinely pulled us over - for no reason other than we were wearing a 3 piece patch. One time this happened right after we attended a funeral of one of our brothers. They'd pull everyone over, tear through our bikes and search everything, and check us for warrants. Then, with our gear scattered along the roadside they would take off and leave us. Oh - and they frequently took items that they wanted.

    I was raised by criminals - drug dealers that sold our wares up in the Height-Ashbury district of San Francisco. One night, the cops kicked in our (unlocked) front door, and stormed through our house. Admittedly, we had 144 kilos of pot stacked in the middle of the living room - so the arrest was justified. BUT - only about 80 kilos were turned in. The police literally destroyed our home, and even ransacked my bedroom (I was 12 years old, and was woken up by 2 detectives kicking my bed and pointing guns at me) - and they stole my savings account bank book. I had worked for years doing chores for neighbors (chopping wood, caring for pets, etc.) and had accrued $700, which I hoped to spend on a college education (I had dreams of going to Stanford). They also shot and killed my little Terrier dog.

    Sorry - I got off on a rant there. Anyway, my point is that cops don't always follow the rules.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JJBuchholz View Post
    Not necessarily. I have read some books (and watched many a crime drama) where even the smartest criminals don't notice police on their trail until it's too late, due to the wide range of tactics that police and law enforcement employ to do their jobs. The police can even have an undercover operative that is feeding them up to date information on the criminals, especially if the operative is very deep undercover.



    I remember some of the older episodes of the original 'Law & Order' where the police detectives were cleverly disguised, or so well hidden that the criminals thought they were pretty much home free. Overconfidence is usually what brings down the baddies more than anything.



    A helicopter would be a dead giveaway, unless it's in a Hollywood movie, in which it could sneak up on a city of millions, landing in the middle of the busiest street in town (and still no one sees it!).

    -JJB
    Oh okay, it's just that if the villains know that the cops are already onto them, I thought they would be looking over their shoulders to make sure they are not being followed, unless the police are so good that they can do this and suspects still wouldn't suspect, even if they were looking over their shoulders?

    Quote Originally Posted by indianroads View Post
    Not necessarily. The police often believe they hold the high moral ground and will mask or excuse violations of our rights to stop what they consider a bad person.

    I rode with an outlaw (1%er) biker group for a few years, and the police routinely pulled us over - for no reason other than we were wearing a 3 piece patch. One time this happened right after we attended a funeral of one of our brothers. They'd pull everyone over, tear through our bikes and search everything, and check us for warrants. Then, with our gear scattered along the roadside they would take off and leave us. Oh - and they frequently took items that they wanted.

    I was raised by criminals - drug dealers that sold our wares up in the Height-Ashbury district of San Francisco. One night, the cops kicked in our (unlocked) front door, and stormed through our house. Admittedly, we had 144 kilos of pot stacked in the middle of the living room - so the arrest was justified. BUT - only about 80 kilos were turned in. The police literally destroyed our home, and even ransacked my bedroom (I was 12 years old, and was woken up by 2 detectives kicking my bed and pointing guns at me) - and they stole my savings account bank book. I had worked for years doing chores for neighbors (chopping wood, caring for pets, etc.) and had accrued $700, which I hoped to spend on a college education (I had dreams of going to Stanford). They also shot and killed my little Terrier dog.

    Sorry - I got off on a rant there. Anyway, my point is that cops don't always follow the rules.
    I am so sorry to hear that happened to you! My condolences!

    Well it's just that if the police break the rules and do not use a warrant, than the evidence gets excluded in court and the police lose, so what's the point of breaking the rules, if it means you will lose?
    Last edited by ironpony; August 2nd, 2020 at 11:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Well it's just that if the police break the rules and do not use a warrant, than the evidence gets excluded in court and the police lose, so what's the point of breaking the rules, if it means you will lose?
    In the case of a tracking device, they could just say they followed you.

  9. #9
    Yeah I guess I could have them place ones on the cars, and then just remove them later, and not tell the judge they used them, but if the villains say they saw the cops take them off the cars, will the judge be inclined to believe them if they all say so?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Yeah I guess I could have them place ones on the cars, and then just remove them later, and not tell the judge they used them, but if the villains say they saw the cops take them off the cars, will the judge be inclined to believe them if they all say so?
    No. Judges are far more likely to accept the word of the police over a citizen - especially one that's already seen as a criminal.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.