Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Under Surveillance


Gear for Snoops
From high-tech to mundane, tools for discreetly collecting the evidence.

4-in-1 Binocular Digital Camera
($149 at Spy Shops, Inc.)
So versatile: These binoculars also function as a digital camera and video recorder. The telescopic lens and high-speed shutter produces freeze-frame action pictures and video clips.

Manila envelope
($15.78 for box of 100 at Staples; 212-675-5698)
To discover somebody’s identity, private investigators will pose as a Good Samaritan returning an envelope dropped by the suspect. The I.D. is revealed if the doorman contacts the resident about the phony envelope.

Spy Sunglasses
($699 at Spy Shops, Inc.)
When necessity calls for going deep undercover, put on these sunglasses with a built-in camera. A camcorder (sold separately) in your bag will record everything you see.

($19.99-$44.99 at Ricky's; 212-949-7230)
Detectives do use these (and baseball hats and sunglasses). It's still the best way to keep a low profile.

Bushnell Digital Camera
($369 at B&H; 212-444-6615)
The camouflage pattern adds a guerrilla frisson to any surveillance activity. It has a night-vision function handy for capturing after-hours shenanigans.

The DVR Remote Surveillance system
(from $2,300 at Spy Shops, Inc.; 212-686-8890)
Use this device to send your video surveillance—you do have a nanny cam, don’t you?—through your mobile phone, letting you keep tabs wherever you go.

Recorder Control
($26.99 at
To bug a call, plug this gizmo into a phone and a tape recorder—voilà. Or get Spy Shop’s SS-65 digital recorder ($349), which silently tapes up to 65 hours of conversation (or tantric phone sex).

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift