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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > High traffic Infiltration? (Viewed 7053 times)
Aran 


Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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High traffic Infiltration?
< on 12/23/2014 5:40 PM >
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Hey, looking for a bit of advice in regards to infiltration. There is a local shopping mall that sees a lot of traffic. Despite this, one of the department stores closed recently, with no replacement. The mall simply walled up the entrance and left it be.

I have confirmed that it is not in use, and I believe that the hallways the employees use to get around without walking through the mall probably contain an entrance. The best way to get to these hallways is to enter through the loading dock area, which is always unlocked.

While hanging around said loading dock, mall security showed up after about 5 to 10 minutes. So, I know the loading dock has cameras, and I know that they are actively watched. However, I don't know how extensive the surveillance of these hallways is. Also important, employees appear to regularly use these hallways.

So, here are my questions:

-What is the best way to use these hallways without being caught?

-What kind of stories and lies are believable for being in a clearly marked "employees only" area, when not an employee?

-Does mall security have the power to temporarily detain me, or bring me down to the office if caught?

-If so, what could they do? Call the police? Give me a store ban? Hold me until someone picks me up?


I've never been infiltrating before, and wanted the advice of some seasoned infiltrators before I go too far beyond scouting. Thanks.




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expensiveburgers 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 1 on 12/23/2014 8:31 PM >
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-What is the best way to use these hallways without being caught?

Contractor's vest. Dressing up like mall employees is pointless they probably know all employees faces unless its a very large mall

-What kind of stories and lies are believable for being in a clearly marked "employees only" area, when not an employee?

Tell them you are looking for the washroom. Works only once

-Does mall security have the power to temporarily detain me, or bring me down to the office if caught?

yes.

-If so, what could they do? Call the police? Give me a store ban? Hold me until someone picks me up?

they can physically restrain you. they often carry nylon cable ties. In case you are caught, they will detain you, call the police and get you charged with trespassing or loitering. If you have suspicious items on you, cops may give you more charges. Trespassing results in tickets and if repeatedly caught, a ban from a place

I think the store is sealed in. When a store sits empty for somebody to buy, stores still contain equipment. It will probably get thrown out by new owner but normally comes with the purchase. So chances are the backdoor is also closed. Stores in the mall are usually connected only by fire escape corridors with all doors trigged by alarms



[last edit 12/23/2014 8:32 PM by expensiveburgers - edited 1 times]

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relik 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 2 on 12/23/2014 8:50 PM >
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I'm rather certain in Wisconsin, security CANNOT physically detain you or touch you in any way.

Edit: You know, i'm trying to find where i read this, but i'm not having any luck. Don't take my word for it! Hopefully someone knows a bit better than me.



[last edit 12/23/2014 9:02 PM by relik - edited 1 times]

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expensiveburgers 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 3 on 12/23/2014 9:12 PM >
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its always better to check with local laws. Here, I know for a fact, if you are in a public place, if you are argumentative, loud, disturbing the public, aggressive, they will citizen arrest you with physical force. However, if you are a quite one,they will ask you to leave, and call the police while you are leaving. they will show your photo from cameras and arrange you picked up from the area



[last edit 12/23/2014 9:14 PM by expensiveburgers - edited 2 times]

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zipper 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 4 on 12/29/2014 1:35 PM >
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What about high traffic areas like busy streets? I've been watching a house down the street but there's a ton of vehicle traffic here in the city.





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jeepdave 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 5 on 12/29/2014 1:51 PM >
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Get a job at the mall. Seriously. Just get a temp part time gig and quit it when you get what ya want.

Also zipper bring a camera and hard hat. If anyone ask you are taking pictures of a for closed property as a independent contractor. This is a legit job.




Ezekiel 25:17
chuck barkley 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 6 on 12/29/2014 3:43 PM >
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How ironic. This sounds exactly like the mall in my town...the hallways, the loading dock, the walled up store, everything. You've described our mall to a T. Was it a JCpenny that's walled up? And a Sears leaving soon? And the movie cinema just closed? If so, we're in the same town. We could meet up??




R3d 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 7 on 12/29/2014 6:26 PM >
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just walk in like ya own the place, if the guards give you any shit, leave before they can touch you.
ive walked away from MANY guards. i dont know if the law says they cant touch me, or if they just didnt wanna go that route with me, but they do call the cops.
go sit under those cameras a lot. when they see you every day, theyll get used to you and may start leaving you alone

someone said to say "im looking for the bathroom". thats perfect



[last edit 12/29/2014 6:27 PM by R3d - edited 1 times]

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TunnelRunner33 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 8 on 12/29/2014 6:53 PM >
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Posted by R3d
go sit under those cameras a lot. when they see you every day, theyll get used to you and may start leaving you alone


What a simple common-sense idea, and I never even thought of that! I know when I was a security guard, we would often get complacent about the people we saw every day, assuming they were there for legitimate business. It seems like this strategy would either cause the guards to get used to you and start overlooking you, or in a location with particularly "hardcore" security, they might print out captured photos of you and post them in the security office / hand them out to the building tenants. But I'm willing to bet that it would usually be Option A.




If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire... Tunnelrunner33!
R3d 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 9 on 12/29/2014 6:56 PM >
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Posted by TunnelRunner33


What a simple common-sense idea, and I never even thought of that! I know when I was a security guard, we would often get complacent about the people we saw every day, assuming they were there for legitimate business. It seems like this strategy would either cause the guards to get used to you and start overlooking you, or in a location with particularly "hardcore" security, they might print out captured photos of you and post them in the security office / hand them out to the building tenants. But I'm willing to bet that it would usually be Option A.


ive been at this since 1981, ive tried every approach i could think of.
someone said "hard hat and vest", which is also a great idea, but add a clip board to that and youre set.
NO ONE wants to talk to the guy with the clipboard! lol




i wanna be sedated
DJ Craig 

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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 10 on 1/8/2015 7:03 PM >
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Posted by expensiveburgers
-Does mall security have the power to temporarily detain me, or bring me down to the office if caught?

yes.

-If so, what could they do? Call the police? Give me a store ban? Hold me until someone picks me up?

they can physically restrain you. they often carry nylon cable ties. In case you are caught, they will detain you, call the police and get you charged with trespassing or loitering. If you have suspicious items on you, cops may give you more charges. Trespassing results in tickets and if repeatedly caught, a ban from a place


NO, this is absolutely incorrect! Police officers can detain you. Security guards cannot. Security guards have absolutely no privileged status. They are just the same as any regular civilian. The cannot physically restrain you, or detain you. Some might try to convince you they can, but they cannot. You would be well within your rights to respectfully walk away from the security guard and leave the property if you were caught.


Now to answer your actual question:

I think it would be better to go from inside the mall, rather than the loading dock. Just find the nearest "employees only" door to the store. And no need for playing dress-up - you're just looking for a bathroom. I have actually seen plenty of malls where the public bathrooms are behind doors that look like they would be employees only.

Once you get back there, walk with complete confidence, smile and say hello to anyone you pass, and do your thing! Don't overthink this!

Do dress nicely. Collar shirt, kakis or slacks, something like that. Cover any piercings or tattoos. Just try to look generally harmless.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
TunnelRunner33 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 11 on 1/8/2015 7:32 PM >
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Posted by DJ Craig
NO, this is absolutely incorrect! Police officers can detain you. Security guards cannot. Security guards have absolutely no privileged status. They are just the same as any regular civilian. The cannot physically restrain you, or detain you. Some might try to convince you they can, but they cannot. You would be well within your rights to respectfully walk away from the security guard and leave the property if you were caught.


This is going to be different from state to state. In Washington state, where I live, private citizens (and thus security guards) can detain anyone they have personally witnessed committing a misdemeanor or a felony. Not saying it happens often, but they can do it. If the person being 'citizen's arrested' runs away or escapes, they can't be charged with resisting arrest, but if they assault the person detaining them, they could of course be charged with that. Not trying to be argumentative, but it's important that we give good information.

That being said, most contract security companies in the Seattle area that I know of generally have company policies directing their guards to avoid detaining citizens. When I worked as a contracted guard, all the sites I was assigned to generally had a hands-off policy. But in-house security (guards that are full employees of their place of business, and not contracted workers) are often a lot more varied in the policies and tactics they follow, since those directives are determined by their workplace. They may also be more willing to escalate their tactics if they feel it necessary, due to this flexibility.




If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire... Tunnelrunner33!
TunnelRunner33 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 12 on 1/8/2015 7:56 PM >
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Then again, I suppose it's possible that you already looked up the laws about detainment in Wisconsin before responding to the original poster (something I haven't bothered to do.). If that is the case, I apologize. I just wanted to clarify that security guards can and do detain people in certain areas, depending on local laws.




If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire... Tunnelrunner33!
Aran 


Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 13 on 1/11/2015 6:13 AM >
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Posted by DJ Craig
I think it would be better to go from inside the mall, rather than the loading dock. Just find the nearest "employees only" door to the store. And no need for playing dress-up - you're just looking for a bathroom. I have actually seen plenty of malls where the public bathrooms are behind doors that look like they would be employees only.

Once you get back there, walk with complete confidence, smile and say hello to anyone you pass, and do your thing! Don't overthink this!

Do dress nicely. Collar shirt, kakis or slacks, something like that. Cover any piercings or tattoos. Just try to look generally harmless.


Well, to give you a general idea of the layout, there are side hallways that lead to the restrooms, with the employee hallways entrances next to the bathrooms. So, "I was looking for a bathroom" probably won't fly. However, if I can pass off a "just curious" excuse, maybe..

The biggest problem is security not buying my story, and believing that I was attempting to shoplift. I mean, sneaking into stores through the back entrances? Seems fishy, no matter what the reason.

Alternatively, I was considering asking mall management for permission as an amateur photographer. This has two advantages. If they say yes, I get in without any risk at all. If they say no, if I am caught going anyway I have a pre-established story, and can pass it off as "I didn't think it was such a big deal, and I really wanted to." The only problem is that asking may alert security to watch for me before I even do anything.

What do you think? Should I try subterfuge, or just plain honesty? I know enough about urbex to recognize that there is a time and place for both, but I'm not sure which one this is.

As for detainment, anyone fluent in legalese? I found this document online that, as far as I can tell, states that so long as I'm not caught actually breaking the law, I cannot be detained for more than ten minutes. Granted, this applies to armed airport guards, but I figure it's much the same for mall security. Can someone confirm this?
http://www.doj.sta.../20080903-mohr.pdf



[last edit 1/11/2015 6:19 AM by Aran - edited 1 times]

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Tarrant 

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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 14 on 1/11/2015 6:56 AM >
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Posted by zipper
What about high traffic areas like busy streets? I've been watching a house down the street but there's a ton of vehicle traffic here in the city.




Predawn if it's that busy. I've done that many times to get into places.




JKuhnss 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 15 on 1/11/2015 5:50 PM >
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Posted by Aran
As for detainment, anyone fluent in legalese? I found this document online that, as far as I can tell, states that so long as I'm not caught actually breaking the law, I cannot be detained for more than ten minutes. Granted, this applies to armed airport guards, but I figure it's much the same for mall security. Can someone confirm this?
http://www.doj.sta.../20080903-mohr.pdf


I could be wrong, but I think being in the employees only area would be considered trespassing thus they could hold you for breaking the law.




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relik 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 16 on 1/11/2015 10:48 PM >
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Posted by JKuhnss


I could be wrong, but I think being in the employees only area would be considered trespassing thus they could hold you for breaking the law.


Not if it isn't clearly posted with "No trespassing" or something of the similar sort.




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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 17 on 1/12/2015 3:09 PM >
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My number one piece of advice to the op: You're overthinking this! Just go for it!

And if a security guard attempts to detain you, walk away. Generally speaking they can't detain anyone. The closest thing they can do is a citizens arrest, and as someone said above, you can't be charged with resisting arrest in that case. So just walk away.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
superphoenix 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 18 on 1/12/2015 5:48 PM >
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The rule here is: If there are no signs posted and no fences, you're legally allowed to go there.




billgeorge 


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Re: High traffic Infiltration?
< Reply # 19 on 1/13/2015 10:39 PM >
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I agree with DJ Craig, that you are indeed overthinking this. But I too am constantly overthinking infiltrations. It's part of psyching oneself up to do something a little bit scary. If I can convince myself that the worst-case scenario isn't really that bad, then what do I have to fear, right?

Unfortunately, this line of (over)thinking usually has the opposite of the intended effect. I MIGHT get detained? They MIGHT call the cops? The door MIGHT be locked anyway? Shit, maybe this isn't worth the trouble!

I think that most of the time you'd be better off spending your mental energy convincing yourself that you are innocent.

This isn't even a story or a lie. You ARE innocent -- at heart. Your only crime is curiosity. Do a few deep breaths and reality checks: This is only a mall corridor, and I'm only looking around.

The first few times, nerves will probably prevent you from smiling and making eye contact completely naturally, but it gets easier. Fake relaxed confidence until you start to feel it.

The fact is, if you don't act shifty or embarrassed, (or run!), 99.9% of the time the worst you'll get from a security guard is a "Can I help you?" The worst-case scenarios discussed here are all incredibly extreme and incredibly unlikely -- and I don't know why so many people on this site are so intent on discouraging one another from exploring.

To address some specifics:

Have a camera on you, and there is no need to prepare a "story." The truth is innocent: You're curious about the closed store, and thought you'd see if you could get some pictures. (Keep in mind you'll probably never even have to tell anyone this truth.)

I walk briskly through the employee-only corridors of my local mall all the time, and have passed security guards in them countless times, and have never gotten anything but a smile. Also, they don't spend a lot of time patrolling these corridors, because unlike the public areas, they're usually empty. Far from looking suspicious back there, you probably look like an employee. Employees only, after all!

Of course, often it's easiest and least puzzling to the powers that be if you do just say you were looking for a bathroom. This is impossible to disprove, impossible even to doubt, even if you've walked by many blatant bathroom doors.

A polite amateur photographer's email to management will not put you on any kind of security watchlist if they turn you down.

Nor will being asked to leave the corridors by security put you on any kind of management blacklist. Try asking permission, or not, or both, in any order.

Your request will probably be denied, and the door will probably be locked, but that's no reason not to try. You've got to try about a hundred doorknobs before you find one that turns. Tell us what you do and what happens, and even if you don't get inside the old store, the attempt alone will be a kind of success.





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