Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lay v.2

also lie
[abbr. SE lay in wait]

to watch for, to survey.

[UK]Middleton A Trick to Catch the Old One I ii: I have been laying all the town for thee.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 87: I told her if she ever went through the park speedin’ like that she’d have all the sparrow cops layin’ for her.
[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 165: You stay an’ lay for him. When he shows up, bring him to me.
[US]J. Lait ‘Charlie the Wolf’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 28: ‘We want you,’ said Kelly. ‘Been layin’ for you for five days,’ said Kiernan.
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 60: He is lyin’ to pinch Henrietta just as soon as he can get his hooks on her.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 142: lay [...] to survey a prospective place to rob or burglarize.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 115: Johnny’s laying in there in the dark.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 148: I ain’t got to lay, man.