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Ever Have The Cops Called On You?


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We were recently searching out a cache at the entrance to a Chinese Temple and wondered aloud what people must think if they were watching us. We typically try to "act casual" when others are around, but if someone sees us - and we don't see them - it's funny to imagine what they must be thinking as we're poking around bushes and examing tree trunks with such precision. We tend to search out caches in more isolated areas, but if we're going to be in a certain spot in a different town, my fiance will pop in the zip code and see if there are any caches near-by. We did wonder if anyone ever had to answer "to the law" about what they were doing or why they were at a particlar spot so late at night.....with a flash-light.....and a back-pack...... :ph34r:

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My friend is a bit of a odd one and although it has nothing to do with caching, he decided to give the finger to a cop as he was driving by. The cop tore out and caught up with him to pull him over. My friend was threatened with a lot of stuff and detained along side the road for 30 minutes. But in the end the cop did nothing. Good for my friend he was squeeky clean. I could never get away with something like that.

 

But it just goes to show that although you would like to think that cops are trained professionals, they can let little stuff get to them... in fact this case seems to show they are capable of blowing things *way* out of proportion.

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On Memorial Day I cached in Akron with Team Cache Me If You Can, and on the way home stopped for a Joe & Shirley cache in Wadsworth. I had dnf'ed it in the winter, so I drove to the same cul-de-sac to park. I took maybe 15 min. and saw two girls and a middle-aged couple, both close to the houses. As I walked back to the car, a very agitated neighbor stopped me. I told him I'd wait and talk to the cops. He was just going to be nasty no matter what I did, and didn't want to hear some explanation. I didn't wait for the cops but made sure he had my license#. I went to another park and expected the cops to find me there. They didn't. They did call my house, however. Over the years I've had a couple experiences, and I've worked with the cops just a bit as a Chaplin. When there's an unreasonable jerk around, the Police already know about him. The Wadsworth Police were just fine about the whole thing. I did ask Joe & Shirley to archive the cache just to avoid problems with this guy, which they did.

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Never real cops, but we did get busted once by the security guards near a mall in Connecticut.

One guy was OK with it, but his partner seemed to have an authority problem and removed the cache from an absolutely appropriate and benign location. The area, by the way, had no signs indicating it was private property, and no fences or barriers of any kind. Very frustrating.

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I get stopped all the time! :ph34r:

 

So often that my friends in the AGA call me a police magnet!

 

I expect I have been stopped over twenty times in the two years I have been caching - usually at night, usually for being behind some closed business or in a city park at 1 a.m.

 

Once I had my tail lights die on my Suburban on an out-of-state geocache run with three friends - got stopped four times that weekend, three times in one night! I explained what we were up to and they all just asked me to keep my flashers on.

 

Interestingly it seems that the police have been actually called by someone when caching in semi-rural areas more than in urban - in town I catch their eye all by myself!

 

In all that no officer has ever given me a hard time or a ticket. I have had one ticket in twenty years; it happened this year on a caching trip but was unrelated to geocaching; a speeding ticket on the interstate on the way to the caching grounds.

 

I did have one deputy search my car, but he didn't have his heart in it and missed the pistol between the seat and console, the hand grip right out in the open! I had let my carry license expire, so it did make my old heart go thumpety-thump for a minute...You can bet I renewed it the next day!

 

Several, maybe four times, I have struck up a conversation with the officers and they have looked for the cache with me, as did a fire captain and paramedic when I asked permission to park in their lot.

 

In all cases I explain the game, show them a cache page and give them gc.com's address and an invite to join the game.

 

Never had a bad experience yet!

Ed

 

Oh yeah - we did have one hilarious experience with a security guard - around 11 p.m. one night we pull into a corporate park with a lake behind it, you have to walk around the lake to the cache.

 

Nobody about so we park our four cars in a building's loading zone, the closest point to the cache.

 

WD4BSU stays behind with his small son in the car, the remaining six of us set out after the cache...one I had DNFd several times already.

 

We're half way around the lake when RedneckGal's phone rings. It's her hubby, WD4BSU. We look across the lake and see the flashing yellow lights and know what he wants before he can say a word! "Security is here and says we have to leave!"

 

"OK honey, tell him we'll be back in a minute" Red says, and we continue to the cache site.

 

We're zeroed out at the cache site and looking, some murmuring "We gotta go back" and others (okay, me) saying "Just a minute, did you look over there?".

 

Phone rings again. "Y'all gotta come back or this guys gonna call the REAL cops!"

 

Gave it five more minutes and decided it really was time to go rescue WD4BSU, so we head back.

 

Get back to the parking area and this guard is livid - I walk right up to him and introduce myself, shake hands, "Hi I am Ed Manley and we were looking for a geocache, your company knows it's here and we have permission", yada yada.

 

Guard appears somewhat mollified, but he knows it is incumbent upon him to do something, anything, official...he's just not sure what.

 

He says "I am going to have to have all of your names". "Sure" I say, "no problem".

 

He pats his pockets and, finding nothing to write on, returns to his car and gets a used napkin from his dinner.

 

Comes back, spreads out his napkin on a trunk and begins taking names. I step up, he asks my name, and I am thinking "I just introduced myself 30 seconds ago!" but what I say is "Homer Simpson".

 

He starts writing, my whole crew is trying to stifle laughter and not doing such a hot job. He writes H-O-M-E-R S-I-M says "Hey, wait a minute!" and gives me his best glare!

 

We're all close to literally rolling on the ground laughing while trying to keep a straight face!

 

I say "Sorry Officer, just kidding, my name is really Ken Billingsley", which he dutifully writes on his stained napkin.

 

Everyone else steps up and gives him a name. Every one of us has ID, not once did he ask for any!

 

He looks at our cars and says "Whose cars are these?" I point at Hammerjane's car and say "That one's mine". He writes her tag number by my name. I don't remember who got linked to my Suburban!

 

Finally he sends us on our way.

 

We'll always have fond memories of Barney Fife the Security Guard, and rest more comfortably knowing guys like him are out there protecting us!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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There's a thread over in "The Hunt/The Unusual" on this very subject with many stories of law enforcement encounters: Having To Explain Geocaching To Local Police, getting caught geocaching by police.

 

Recently, a local cacher got questioned while looking for my Welcome to Fairbanks!!! cache.

 

I've personally explained geocaching to law enforcement on three or four occasions. The most recent time was last week at Beachfront Rest Stop. Turned out that the officer had looked for that particular cache as well and couldn't find it.

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I had a State Officer stop and ask me what I was doing once. The cache was on the underside of a recycle bin and my friend Dave actually tipped it up so I could look :D kind of a stupid thing to do, but we thought no one was looking :o I explained the game and he laughed and said ok... he just wanted to know what we were up to.

 

I called 911 once after finding a cache because on my return to my car I found a lady sitting in the mud outside of her car... she told me she had been breathing carbon monoxide for the last couple of hours. A quick look at her car and I saw the muffler in the back seat with towels proping up the hatchback. Anyway I called 911 and they concluded she was just really drunk... though I do think she was trying to commit suicide but her car ran out of gas, and she needed to run a hose from her exhaust into her car (but I wasn't going to suggest it to her) After paramedics checked her out the local deputies questioned me for a few minutes... honestly they were very unpleasant... made me feel almost criminal for calling it in.

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Only once so far. I was doing a multi that had the first waypoint near a school. I made the mistake of checking out the front area of the school, after hours off course. I was first approached by the Principal and janitor, to whom I explained what I was doing. Then a local detective showed up and ran me, but I'm very clean upstanding member of the community.

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Just as I was preparing to climb a large noise-abatement wall next to the frontage road of I-10, a Tucson police car pulled up. The driver waved me over to scold me for parking on the edge of the frontage road. Boy, was I lucky--if he'd pulled up 15 seconds later he would have seen me shinnying up the end cap of that 20-foot concrete wall :D Wall climbing = criminal behavior = long explanation -or- time in the pokey.

 

I was all ready to explain Geocaching to the guy, but he was eating pistachios from a bag in a disgusting way. He'd put a handful of the nuts, shells and all, into his mouth, crunch down, and spit out bits of shell. I've seen people do this with sunflower seeds, and that's pretty bad, but pistachios! I decided not to mention caching. I waved my GPS around and said I had pulled over because I was losing cell reception on an important call and that I'd be on my way shortly. Not exactly sure what he said to this, owing to the pistachios, but he drove off. Whew.

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Everyone has stories, but I have none. I have somehow eluded the cops every time for the past year and a half, even though I make it a point of pride to do at least 15% of my caches at night.

 

Once I thought I was busted for sure because I had accidentally stumbled on to some private property in the dark when my GPSr was going bonkers. I then ran into a fence trying to get out of there, which made a very loud CLANG!ing noise. Shortly thereafter, a couple of flashlights appeared in the distance. I thought I was going to have a lot of explaining to do. However, as it turned out, the flashlights belonged to the Second Finders. Ha!

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My 7 year old (Geoprincess) and I got busted at a local casino one night by a hideous old fat female security guard. We were searching for a micro that was stashed in the old "Welcome to Reno" arch that is now down by the Harrahs automobile museum. My GPS showed we were right on top of it when we were really 30 feet away. Barb came down and forced us (almost at flashlight point, since they can't have guns) into the casino. Scared the crap out of my kid and got to be downright rediculous as this 350lb woman that was about 65 yelled all over the casino floor about what we were doing. They had the security manager call the Reno Police (luckily I am ex-lawenforcement and have an ID that gets me our of most tight spots) but they wouldn't take my word for it or believe that the info on the print out from the sight was true.

 

I would have walked away if my kid wasn''t there and I wasn't trying to be a good dad that is responsible for my actions. I am handicapped and don't walk well, but I still could have smoked Barbs fat butt. Anyway, we found the cache with 2 RPD officers (who were now very interested themselves) Fat loser Barb, and two security managers and the property owner and were released without incident. Too funny! :D

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I called 911 once after finding a cache because on my return to my car I found a lady sitting in the mud outside of her car... she told me she had been breathing carbon monoxide for the last couple of hours. A quick look at her car and I saw the muffler in the back seat with towels proping up the hatchback. Anyway I called 911 and they concluded she was just really drunk... though I do think she was trying to commit suicide but her car ran out of gas, and she needed to run a hose from her exhaust into her car (but I wasn't going to suggest it to her) After paramedics checked her out the local deputies questioned me for a few minutes... honestly they were very unpleasant... made me feel almost criminal for calling it in.

Sometimes is just doesn't pay to be a good samaritan.

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Just as I was preparing to climb a large noise-abatement wall next to the frontage road of I-10, a Tucson police car pulled up. The driver waved me over to scold me for parking on the edge of the frontage road. Boy, was I lucky--if he'd pulled up 15 seconds later he would have seen me shinnying up the end cap of that 20-foot concrete wall <_< Wall climbing = criminal behavior = long explanation -or- time in the pokey.

 

LOL :angry:

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In the 17 days of our Florida caching vacation around GW3, we had about 15 contacts with police and security, usually in the dark.

 

The best ones were in the Lakeland area near a walmart when 2 officers (one with his gun pointing at us) stopped us searching in the bushes and at the St. Petersburg area when 2 cops with 2 cars came to us from both sides while we were searching a cache in the parking lot of an outdoor shop at night.

 

At first, most of them could not believe coming us down from New Jersey (that was our license plate on the rental Jeep). When we told them that we flew in from Germany to hunt Tupperware and rented the NJ-Jeep in Orlando, a smile was alsways on their faces.

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I haven't been stopped yet but I always carry a couple of the Let's Go Geocaching! Brochure just in case I have to explain what I'm doing.

 

The closest to being challenged was when a landscaping truck pulled up asking what I was doing to a stone bench. The cache was hidden under it. Apparently people had been taken various landscaping item from the common area to use on their private property. After handing him the brochure and explaining about geocaching I think we may have another convert :)

Edited by Spyder13
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Before Geocaching my partner and I stopped a guy in the bushes at a transit train station. He explained to us that he was "playing this nerdy game using his GPS". Luckily I had heard of something like that in the past. He checked out clear on a records check and search of his person so we let him go. Funny thing is that I now "play a nerdy game using a GPS". :)

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While MikeG924 and I were searching for Rooks Ramble over Memorial Day weekend we were seriously eyeballed by a bicycle cop. We were looking for stage one of a multi, which happens to be attached to a utility box. I whipped out my digital camera so as to make myself appear an honest tourist/photographer.

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Well, Legna and sOulbAit always have the best cop stories (just by sheer numbers) but here's ours. Agent K was planting plastic easter eggs for her event back in March. After planting 11 of the 12 eggs, the skies opened up and we ran for cover. The next day (I guess I should preface this by saying she's homeschooled) we go out in the late morning to plant the twelfth egg. I park in an open field and we go into the forest. I left the door open in my car. A cruiser drives by and notices this car. It runs the plate and it comes up as belonging to my wife. They go back into the woods looking for her. In the meanwhile we've planted the last egg and are on our way back to the car. The police spot this huge grizzled man with a 7 y.o. girl walking in the forest in a time when children theoretically are at school. We spent about 15-20 minutes talking with the boys (and girl) in blue trying to honestly tell them what was going on. After talking over the radio, one of the officers came back to us and asked if we could identify who an "Agent K" was. K immediately said "That's me" and we were let go on that. Turns out one of the officers in the department was a cacher, heard the radio traffic, and verified our story.

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Never try to find a micro hidden in a stonewall of a church late at night.

That sort of activities attracts local police enforcement.

Been there, done that.

What happened when I realised what was going on was that I ran out in the middle of the road and stopped the patrol car before they stopped me.

(Attack is best defense)

Then I asked them if I could calibrate my GPSr against theirs.

De didn't have a GPSr in the car and looked quite embarrased by the fact.

So after explaining geocaching to them and giving them the URL we had a big laugh.

Sunshine story of a late and rainy night.

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san Diego on business. I had about 15 travel bugs with me and decided to take their picture at a fountain at night.

 

As I am taking the picture, I hear the skwak skwak of the police radio. I look up. The officer asks "What's going on here" (hand on gun!) I say I am taking a picture for a game called geocaching. He knows what it is. Tells me he thought I was tryingto steal coins.

 

All ends well. I don't get in trouble.

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My friend is a bit of a odd one and although it has nothing to do with caching, he decided to give the finger to a cop as he was driving by. The cop tore out and caught up with him to pull him over. My friend was threatened with a lot of stuff and detained along side the road for 30 minutes. But in the end the cop did nothing. Good for my friend he was squeeky clean. I could never get away with something like that.

 

But it just goes to show that although you would like to think that cops are trained professionals, they can let little stuff get to them... in fact this case seems to show they are capable of blowing things *way* out of proportion.

I suppose if I put my life on the line for the community on a regular basis and a community member showed abject disrespect for my office or ungratefulness for my sacrifice, I might be pretty ticked off as well.

 

Cops are people too, and they are people who's job can be a lot more demanding and unrewarding than most. I find in any situation where a police officer has questioned me for whatever reason, the best option is to show respect, be honest, appear nonthreatening, and make sure the officer gets your side of the story before he makes up his mind what action is required.

 

Anwyay, sorry to be preachy--I have a soft spot for those charged with law enforcement. I readily admit that I could never do what they do for a living.

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If your stopped by the police DON'T do what a friend of mine did! He was being driven home in the drunk bus by another friend of ours from a party and they got stopped by the local police, the policeman leaned in and said I smell booze in here and my drunk buddy said "well I smell dounuts out there!!!! DOH :P . The policeman said take him home NOW!

 

I also have gotten pulled over by the cops in the dounut drive thru!

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I was detained once when I made the mistake of hunting a cache that placed at a local harness racing track. Yes it was private property, yes it was a chance at FTF, and it was still early in our caching career, so I foolishly thought maybe it was placed with permission. After making every mistake possible, the biggest being searching for the cache on a non-race night, I finally find the micro. As I'm reaching up to grab it I spot 3 guards out the corner of my eye. Years of watching COPs has taught me to not make any sudden moves and keep my hands in sight. I explain my actions and they decide that while I seem to be non threatening, they'll call the police anyways since they're all a little uptight about the former guard who'd robbed the place 2 days earlier. 2 1/2 hours later I'm released and told not to return for a year.

Was stopped one other time caching because the girl at the park gate was following the rules and I didn't have the annual sticker attached to my motorcycle.

 

But I have to say the best police/cacher story I've ever seen was poor Lemur's adventure in California.

 

link here

 

Wulf

Edited by Team Tigger International
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