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anyone have trouble with police or landowners while caching?


drew82
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Often feel like I look very suspicious while caching.. day or night.. no trouble yet thankfully.. but would like to hear if anyone has had trouble and how they got out of it...

 

I'm quite certain that I've probably had the police called on me. Fortunately, the police response times are slower than my cache finding times :anitongue:

 

Seriously though.. If you are polite and respectful and simply explain what you are doing, I can't imagine any police officer giving you a hard time.

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I'm not a lawyer, so take this for what it's worth.

 

In the United States, if the land is unfenced, unimproved and not posted, you are not trespassing until somebody comes along and tells you you're trespassing and you don't immediately leave.

 

Of course, in some states, the owner is allowed to use a shotgun to tell you you're trespassing.

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I'm not a lawyer, so take this for what it's worth.

 

In the United States, if the land is unfenced, unimproved and not posted, you are not trespassing until somebody comes along and tells you you're trespassing and you don't immediately leave.

 

Of course, in some states, the owner is allowed to use a shotgun to tell you you're trespassing.

To my best knowledge, the statement "... if the land is unfenced, unimproved and not posted, you are not trespassing until somebody comes along and tells you you're trespassing and you don't immediately leave." is true for some states in the USA, namely, those with more relaxed trespassing laws, such as Maryland, West Virginia and Iowa, and is very much NOT true for at least 16 states in the USA which have more stringent trespassing laws, such as Wyoming.

 

And, remember that in many states, including many of the states (such Maryland and WV) with relaxed trespassing laws, a land is considered to be posted if it is marked with blue rectangular markings (usually in the form of paint marks) placed on trees or posts facing outward along the perimeter of the property. In other words, there may be no signs bearing English-language words such as "POSTED" or "NO TRESPASSING" and rather, only blue rectangular markings.

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Here's a log from a cache I went to tonight:

 

Ok, I decide to go hit up this cache after I get off work. I pull in to the parking lot and park as close to the cache as I can and get out and start hoofing it about 12:10am. I get about 30 feet and a truck pulls up and stops. A guy in the truck rolls down his window and says "Wassup?" I figure he needs directions or something so I say "nothing, hows it goin?" He then says "what are ya doin?" I say "walking this way." and I point in the vicinity of the cache. He says "what for?" I start to get an odd feeling about the conversation and I say "just taking a walk. Why?" That's when he gets out of his truck and puts on his hat that says "I'm an Overnight Parking Lot Rent-A-Cop Geomuggle" on it. I think "oh boy, here we go". He tries to stand all intimidating like in front of me, and with perfect "I'm better than you cuz I'm a big tough overnight parking lot rent-a-cop geomuggle" attitude, he starts going off, "This is private property. You can't park here. I suggest you leave before I have your car towed, and have you arrested for trespassing, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc." Now when someone comes up to me and respectfully explains the situation I always follow the rules and take off. When a dude comes up to me and tries to achieve their goal through fear, threats, and intimidation....it just gets my blood boiling and my natural reaction is to start pushing buttons. So I start asking him questions. "Can I go beyond that there fire lane in the distance?", "Can I walk on the other side of the wall?", "What part of the parking lot do you actually patrol?", etc., etc. To his credit, he partly answers the questions. The other part is that he is still trying to threaten me with incarceration. Then he quickly flashes some piece of paper in front of me about parking rules. I didnt read it, but (to his credit, again) he lets me take a picture of it. Thats when I left. I went across the street to Wally World and parked. When I started hoofing it, guess who showed up? My new friend. "Didncha hear what I said son?" he asks. I guess it's now trespassing to park in front of a store that is OPEN. (At least it is according to this dude). So I get back in the cache mobile and go to the neighborhood but I see respectful and polite signs telling me that parking overnight on the streets is not allowed (or something to that affect) so I decide to not park there. I then make my way to a car care place and park. From there I was able to access the cache site without being addressed like a 2 year old, but it was about a half mile one-way. The walk is worth it. While searching for the cache I actually heard coyotes howling non stop for five or so minutes. I could tell that one coyote was very close to me. I looked for the cache for a while, but saw nothing. I'll have to come back. Needless to say, I saw my new friend on the walk back to my car from the "other side of the wall" and gave him a friendly wave. He didn't respond other than to give me a dirty look. When I got home, I looked at the pic and realized that I wasn't doing any of the things listed on the page except for the thing they reccomended (parking in a marked stall). I called the first number on the page to get some clarification and they said that your car CAN be towed if you are parked there. So, a warning to future overnight cachers, if you go for this cache you need to park at the car care center to the North of the freeway and to the East of Power, unless you want to be harassed and talked to like a 2 year old. BTW, I had a lot of fun going after this cache. To me, avoiding the overnight geomuggle only added to the adventure. And just in case people are wondering, at no point was geocaching ever brought up.

 

1cf1af00-f3c2-4efa-bfb5-e98d29dc40ce.jpg

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That flyer reads like the loudspeaker from Airplane:

Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.

Female announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.

Male announcer: The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a white zone.

Female announcer: No, the white zone is for loading. Now, there is no stopping in a RED zone.

Male announcer: The red zone has always been for loading.

Female announcer: Don't you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for unloading.

Male announcer: Look Betty, don't start up with your white zone carp again. There's just no stopping in a white zone.

:anitongue::lol: Edited by wimseyguy
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You weren't leaving a sale vehicle, you weren't parking overnight, you didn't park in either the red zone or a yellow curb. I'd politely told him to call emm and we'd see how it all washed out. I'm betting he'd come up wanting. They want to get real picky about it, send someone in the store to buy a coke. Most rent a cops don't have an education high enough to spell most of the words on the paper much less read and comprehend what they are trying to 'enforce.'

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A few months back I thought I would look for a bench mark that was down the street from a cache site. The bench mark was a 1/4 mile from an entrance to a small airport. Within 5 minutes the police were there asking what I was up to. I explained what I was doing. He was concerned with all the terrorist threats going on with people walking through woods so close to an airport. I don't think a 1/4 mile was too close but, it was his call and I packed up and left. In doing so, I think I might have also got him involved in GeoCaching since he really sounded interested in what I was doing. Just not in this location.

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I was questioned on one occasion. I was skulking around the landscaping at the edge of an expressway frontage road looking for a cache. Little did I know, this particular location was on the home stretch for cops returning to the barn from the interstate, so my cache search was hampered by a steady flow of Tucson PD cars. Finally one stopped. He rolled down the window and said, "Mmmph crunch mm mm-mn hrmm?" He was eating pistachios by cramming handfuls of whole nuts into his mouth and spitting out the shells. I assumed he was asking "What are you doing here?" Going with the partial truth, I said "Pulled over to use my cellphone." He spat shells, then filled the liberated space with more nuts, chewed, and said "Mmml, mmu mmnt mmrk hrmm" to which I replied, "OK, be done in a sec."

 

He pulled away, I quickly climbed the noise-abatement wall, found the cache, and got gone.

 

I've occasionally met property owners in remote areas (ranchland, mostly), and those encounters have all been pleasant, interesting and pistachio-free. Though some involved chewing tobacco.

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Here's a cache I placed that was renamed "The 'pleasant' cache", after many cachers were confronted by the 'pleasant' woman at the cache site. It was fun while it lasted.. What's funny is I never encountered her on the many visits I made later to retrieve my cache container and its contents.

 

The "Pleasant" Cache

This reminds me of a guy that lives close to my parents house. There's a big long pond across from there house. The owner will let you fish there. But this one guy who owns about the last 20 yrds of it. Would always call the sherriff on you. Well my dad told me the other day the guy got a letter in the mail from the sherriff's office. That said if you call again YOU will get arrested. It must have worked my dad hasn't heard them being called out.

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I've been questioned by LEO 4 times. Each time I told them exactly what I was doing and they told me to be careful and left. I don't lie. Geocaching isn't illegal and I don't tresspass or break laws while doing it so I really don't have a problem with having LEOs do their job.

 

Remember: If you never lie you don't have to remember what you said.

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You weren't leaving a sale vehicle, you weren't parking overnight, you didn't park in either the red zone or a yellow curb. I'd politely told him to call emm and we'd see how it all washed out. I'm betting he'd come up wanting. They want to get real picky about it, send someone in the store to buy a coke. Most rent a cops don't have an education high enough to spell most of the words on the paper much less read and comprehend what they are trying to 'enforce.'

 

Be careful--In most jurisdictions, if you insist on a real cop, you will find yourself on the wrong end of a disorderly conduct charge, no matter how polite you are.

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You weren't leaving a sale vehicle, you weren't parking overnight, you didn't park in either the red zone or a yellow curb. I'd politely told him to call emm and we'd see how it all washed out. I'm betting he'd come up wanting. They want to get real picky about it, send someone in the store to buy a coke. Most rent a cops don't have an education high enough to spell most of the words on the paper much less read and comprehend what they are trying to 'enforce.'

 

Be careful--In most jurisdictions, if you insist on a real cop, you will find yourself on the wrong end of a disorderly conduct charge, no matter how polite you are.

 

Now thats possibly the most ridiculous thing ive ever heard :blink::o:huh::huh::o:laughing:

 

edit to clarify...im not necessarily saying your statement is ridiculous just that if you right the law is ridiculous but i really hope your wrong

Edited by wildearth2001
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Speaking from experience, I can tell you that most cops have neither the time or interest to deal with such things. In most cases police will get rid of calls such as this in the quickest way possible; by asking you to leave. Of course if you are foolish enough not to take that opportunity, then officers are forced to move on from there and you get what you deserve. Personally, if the police ask me to leave, I’m takin’ the easy way out: smile and wave. :o

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In most of the situations (no-caching) where I've had a rent a cop get all Barney on me and I challenged them to call the law they either flat out refused or walked off in a huff. Thing I learned about them is they hate being made a fool of in front of an actual LEO and won't take that chance.

 

The flip side of that is that rent a cops can easily turn it into a trespassing situation. Parked legally or not, if you don't leave when they ask, you're trespassing.

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Just caught this story on one of the facebook groups

 

Adventurer out 'geocaching' unearths pipe bomb look-alike

 

July 28, 2007

Rob Faulkner

The Hamilton Spectator

(Jul 28, 2007)

 

Geocaching is a fast-growing adventure sport in many places -- but in Halton Region, it's been looking explosive.

 

The new, outdoor, treasure-hunting game uses a global positioning system (GPS) device and co-ordinates found online to find hidden "caches" with logbooks and trinkets inside.

 

But around 5 p.m. on Friday, July 20, a Burlington hiker found a cache that looked deadly, along the Bridle Trail in the Royal Botanical Gardens.

 

It was a 17 centimetre long metal pipe, with caps threaded onto both ends. It was wrapped in camouflage tape, tucked in a sealed, plastic bag and visible inside a hollow log. "A pipe bomb!" the hiker thought.

 

Fearing for the safety of adults and kids nearby, the man put the "bomb" in the front seat of his car and drove it to the Burlington OPP station. Halton police bomb disposal experts arrived there by 6:30 p.m.

 

"It's the first time I've ever been involved in a geocaching explosive call-out," said Halton police Constable Jeff Foster of the bomb-disposal unit.

 

The Halton police bomb robot, RMI, approached the car, removed the "pipe bomb" and took it to an open field behind the station to open it. (Foster wouldn't reveal how it was done.)

 

Meanwhile, Halton and Ontario Provincial Police officers took precautions: they closed a QEW off-ramp for four hours as they dealt with the suspicious device.

 

The robot opened the pipe, and police saw that it contained geocaching-related documents. Police visited a website noted in the papers and saw photos of the pipe, confirming it as a geocache.

 

Halton police warn geocachers they should not use containers such as pipes, ammunition cases and other items that would arouse suspicion if the general public stumbles upon a cache.

 

They suggest caches be labelled and carry a web address so they aren't mistaken for bombs.

 

Meanwhile, they also warn folks who find what they think is a bomb not to examine, touch or move it.

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Halton police warn geocachers they should not use containers such as pipes, ammunition cases and other items that would arouse suspicion if the general public stumbles upon a cache.

 

They suggest caches be labelled and carry a web address so they aren't mistaken for bombs.

 

Meanwhile, they also warn folks who find what they think is a bomb not to examine, touch or move it.

Ammo cans may be every geocachers favorite container but that opinion doesn't seem to be shared by the authorities.

 

I will say that this response is one of the most reasonable I've read about.

At least they didn't blow it up. :laughing:

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I can't say I read every post here, so I apolgize it this is a repeat.

 

Does anyone blame the public, or law enforcement for questioning Geocachers? I am rather suprised that I haven't been stopped by the police, it is a pretty suspicious activity. In todays world, a guy looking under rocks, and behind trees, and under picnic tables in a public park is reason for a call. I shy away from caching alone, as a white male, but rather go with one of my children, or at least my dog. I certainly would not take offense to being questioned & would be glad that others are watching whats going on.

Edited by Great Dane Gang
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I can't say I read every post here, so I apolgize it this is a repeat.

 

Does anyone blame the public, or law enforcement for questioning Geocachers? I am rather suprised that I haven't been stopped by the police, it is a pretty suspicious activity. In todays world, a guy looking under rocks, and behind trees, and under picnic tables in a public park is reason for a call. I shy away from caching alone, as a white male, but rather go with one of my children, or at least my dog. I certainly would not take offense to being questioned & would be glad that others are watching whats going on.

 

I think it's a problem of exposure. People see one guy looking under rocks, behind trees, and under picnic tables, and think it's suspicious activity. However, if they see lots of people doing it with kids, then who knows, it might be an Easter Egg hunt. Very few individuals of today's public know anything about Geocaching, so if they see someone looking in the landscaping or under rocks and tables, they don't know what he's up to and automatically assume the worst. If there were greater exposure, if more people knew about this activity, then I doubt so many people would feel the need to call the authorities to check us out. And if more people knew that that guy over there ducking under every picnic table in the park is probably Geocaching, then there would be less need for us to go sneaking around being "stealthy" and acting suspicious in the first place.

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Been stopped many time by police around the country and by the military here in New Orleans.

We have never had a problem and on most occasions educate them re geocaching ( they are always fascinated and want more info. ).....at other times we say we're hiking and learning to use our GPS units.

I've never had a problem getting a feel for the situation and knowing when to say what.

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Often feel like I look very suspicious while caching.. day or night.. no trouble yet thankfully.. but would like to hear if anyone has had trouble and how they got out of it...

In some cases, i actually put on one of those bright orange safety vests that you see road side workers wearing. It is alomst like being invisible. I have yet to have someone approach me while wearing my vest. People just naturally assume you are working and will leave you alone. Pluss, if the cache is along a road, it will make you visable and possibly safe.

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LOL I had a state cop question me today in a rest area. I stopped to drop off a TB and I guess he saw me go into the woods and was waiting for me when I came back out. I had to explain geocaching to him and had to show him the cache.

 

He seemed really interested and might be the next newbie cacher.

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You weren't leaving a sale vehicle, you weren't parking overnight, you didn't park in either the red zone or a yellow curb. I'd politely told him to call emm and we'd see how it all washed out. I'm betting he'd come up wanting. They want to get real picky about it, send someone in the store to buy a coke. Most rent a cops don't have an education high enough to spell most of the words on the paper much less read and comprehend what they are trying to 'enforce.'

 

<grin> I've heard this a million times... As a previous site manager for a security company in SC (not anymore as I got rather bored with it after the Knight's Baseball season was over and I didn't have anything more entertaining to protect LOL!), I think I should let you all know that these "Rent-a-cops" in SC have just as much power as a police officer, they're just not sworn in so they can run away if they want to and ignore you if they so choose. They don't HAVE to deal with you in other words. They certainly can arrest you and make you sit there until a police officer transports you to the jail. If you harm them, disrespect them, or resist you can be charged with the same crime as if you had done the same to a sworn officer. Some security officers can and will transport you themselves although most don't have the insurance for it so they just let the cops do it for them. Which is rather frustrating for the person being arrested but it saves a LOT of time and paperwork for the security guard. The guards are required to be present during court after arresting someone and they receive just as much respect as a police officer does in the court system. Most of the police officers in our area are very appreciative of the security guards walking the streets, patroling the parking lots and hotels, and doing all the after-hours boring work for the police. Security guards are trained and licensed here by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and must go through a firearms class if they are to be armed security guards.

 

I'm not defending the security guards and yes, I do know some are quite irritating, but I saw the trend starting here and just wanted you to know that "rent-a-cops," although annoying, have just as much power as a police officer so I'd avoid confrontation unless of course you want to be hiding a microcache in the jail cell LOL!

 

Also, more than half of the security guards we employed were college students who were actually pretty intelligent and just trying to offset costs for school, or they were older men who had retired from the police department or military and just wanted part time work. They knew the laws and what they were talking about 99% of the time. The women were mostly looking for work after hours when their children were in bed or their husbands were home from work to babysit. Those were the one's who had to have two incomes to support their families and had to work separate shifts. We insisted on clean criminal and driving records, clean drug tests, and at least a high school diploma. Our armed guards were more intelligent than the unarmed guards as a rule. Also, unlike a police officer, a security guard must strictly follow the directions given to him by the property manager or he can risk losing the entire (usually very expensive) contract for the company and then he loses his job for poor performance on the job. That's usually the reason they're annoying. The manager has specifically and very clearly said "NO ONE PARKS HERE AFTER 11 PM, I DON"T CARE IF THEIR CAR IS ON FIRE! NO ONE PARKS HERE!" So, then the security guard has to be the bad guy and make everyone mad for being so cold and irritating or he loses his job. They're put in difficult situations more than you know and they usually have to make decisions that they don't want to make. Most guards are videotaped all night long as well so all of their actions are on tape.

 

Just wanted to let you all know that the rent-a-cops are just as serious as the "real cops."

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Here's a log from a cache I went to tonight:

 

Ok, I decide to go hit up this cache after I get off work. I pull in to the parking lot and park as close to the cache as I can and get out and start hoofing it about 12:10am. I get about 30 feet and a truck pulls up and stops. A guy in the truck rolls down his window and says "Wassup?" I figure he needs directions or something so I say "nothing, hows it goin?" He then says "what are ya doin?" I say "walking this way." and I point in the vicinity of the cache. He says "what for?" I start to get an odd feeling about the conversation and I say "just taking a walk. Why?" That's when he gets out of his truck and puts on his hat that says "I'm an Overnight Parking Lot Rent-A-Cop Geomuggle" on it. I think "oh boy, here we go". He tries to stand all intimidating like in front of me, and with perfect "I'm better than you cuz I'm a big tough overnight parking lot rent-a-cop geomuggle" attitude, he starts going off, "This is private property. You can't park here. I suggest you leave before I have your car towed, and have you arrested for trespassing, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc." Now when someone comes up to me and respectfully explains the situation I always follow the rules and take off. When a dude comes up to me and tries to achieve their goal through fear, threats, and intimidation....it just gets my blood boiling and my natural reaction is to start pushing buttons. So I start asking him questions. "Can I go beyond that there fire lane in the distance?", "Can I walk on the other side of the wall?", "What part of the parking lot do you actually patrol?", etc., etc. To his credit, he partly answers the questions. The other part is that he is still trying to threaten me with incarceration. Then he quickly flashes some piece of paper in front of me about parking rules. I didnt read it, but (to his credit, again) he lets me take a picture of it. Thats when I left. I went across the street to Wally World and parked. When I started hoofing it, guess who showed up? My new friend. "Didncha hear what I said son?" he asks. I guess it's now trespassing to park in front of a store that is OPEN. (At least it is according to this dude). So I get back in the cache mobile and go to the neighborhood but I see respectful and polite signs telling me that parking overnight on the streets is not allowed (or something to that affect) so I decide to not park there. I then make my way to a car care place and park. From there I was able to access the cache site without being addressed like a 2 year old, but it was about a half mile one-way. The walk is worth it. While searching for the cache I actually heard coyotes howling non stop for five or so minutes. I could tell that one coyote was very close to me. I looked for the cache for a while, but saw nothing. I'll have to come back. Needless to say, I saw my new friend on the walk back to my car from the "other side of the wall" and gave him a friendly wave. He didn't respond other than to give me a dirty look. When I got home, I looked at the pic and realized that I wasn't doing any of the things listed on the page except for the thing they reccomended (parking in a marked stall). I called the first number on the page to get some clarification and they said that your car CAN be towed if you are parked there. So, a warning to future overnight cachers, if you go for this cache you need to park at the car care center to the North of the freeway and to the East of Power, unless you want to be harassed and talked to like a 2 year old. BTW, I had a lot of fun going after this cache. To me, avoiding the overnight geomuggle only added to the adventure. And just in case people are wondering, at no point was geocaching ever brought up.

 

1cf1af00-f3c2-4efa-bfb5-e98d29dc40ce.jpg

 

Store parking lots and what we often think of as "public" places are actually privately owned. Once asked to leave by whom ever the owner entrust into security you are bound to. My brother worked in a mall. He parked his car in the customer spots instead of the employee spots late one night after the store was closed. His car was towed by mall security even though they knew he worked there. He tried to fight it but in the end lost because the lot is private property and the owners can set up any rules they want, fair or unfair.

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We had our first LEO encounter today. While going into Mohican State Park in Ohio the driver we had made a grievous mistake in his zeal to find the first cache... speeding 8 mph over the limit. Second mistake... leaving the DL in the other vehicle back home. Our third mistake, (stupid us), assuming that we as taxpaying citizens would even be allowed to go into a free (no fee) state park and of all things... hike and look for geocaches. I can understand the speeding bit, it's dangerous. A legit gripe. Not having a DL, even more legit. But when he popped an attitude and asked what we were doing there (I'm bald guess we fit the profile of a rolling meth lab), and we answered that we were going to hike a few trails and find a couple geocaches he said, "Well, now that's going to be a problem." He then asked how we even got past the gate (they asked, we told, they let us in), and said they shouldn't have even let us into the park! Then using the best Barney Fife belt adjust he could muster he said well, I guess since they let you in it's okay. The way he was acting you'd think we needed to have a permit (we didn't), or pay (we didn't), or had to be wearing black tie and slacks to get into a state park. The caches were placed with permission so it's obvious they know the locations but this LEO was trying to act like a bouncer at a high profile night club. Will it dissuade us in the future. Nope. Will I have the park rules and regs printed before hand. You bet your arse. If confronted again I'll politely ask where in the rules we're not allowed to perform a legal activity looking for legally placed items, in our tax funded state park.

 

As for the day of caching we got whipped something bad but it was a blast.

 

Just wanted to let you all know that the rent-a-cops are just as serious as the "real cops."

 

Having had friends that have performed these duties the ones I've known and it's alot I wouldn't trust with a potato gun much less anything else. The most dangerous thing they carried was a flashlight, Barney Fife attitude, and flawed sense of the law at best. Others we've encountered tried doing the typical you look suspicious we're going to search you bit only to walk away disappointed because we've told emm you try you get sued for unlawful search. If you notice most places like Best Buy and the likes with their rent a cops have since stopped the practice due to lost cases in the court system. Show me a badge that looks like it was picked out of a cracker jack box and you'll get no more respect than any other working man on a job. Show me a bona fide shield you'll get the respect due it.

 

The game warden today, had the higher respect even though he gave us a Barney attitude. Unless a fellow Ohioan can point out where we messed the pooch about going into a state park looking for cache I honestly don't see his justification for the attitude. We were respectful, addressed him as sir, and asked questioned he didn't answer. To his credit he didn't ticket our driver.

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In one day, (11Aug07) my wife and I were approached by two officers while looking for Confederate Honor and four officers while looking for FRISCO. Both of these were DNFs, which I think is why the police became interested. We tend to spend a lot of time searching before admitting defeat. Six LEOs in one day is a lifetime record for either of us. In both cases, the officers were friendly and did not ask us to leave. In the first case, they saw our vehicle and became curious and in the second case, a muggle called them. I can understand their concern and think that they behaved in a professional manner. I don't begrudge them for wanting to know the goings-on in their jurisdiction, with the caveat that they shouldn't let that turn into a power trip situation or try to enforce laws that do not exist.

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Halton police warn geocachers they should not use containers such as pipes, ammunition cases and other items that would arouse suspicion if the general public stumbles upon a cache.

 

They suggest caches be labelled and carry a web address so they aren't mistaken for bombs.

 

Meanwhile, they also warn folks who find what they think is a bomb not to examine, touch or move it.

Ammo cans may be every geocachers favorite container but that opinion doesn't seem to be shared by the authorities.

 

I will say that this response is one of the most reasonable I've read about.

At least they didn't blow it up. ;)

 

You just need to have some common sense regarding its placement. You shouldn't use ammo boxes in popular suburban and urban parks. If you do, it should be labeled clearly as a geocache and with contact info. I'm dismayed by all the ammo boxes I've found right next to heavily used trails, complete with the military markings intact. Often not hidden very well either.

 

If I wasn't a geocacher and found one I know I would probably think it was ominous looking and reason for concern.

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I had a police officer help me find a cache once. The cache was at the end of a dead end road. I parked at the suggested spot and started walking down the road. As I rounded a curve I saw another vehicle and I thought another cacher was there. As I got closer I saw the insignia on the side (it did not have a light bar). A police officer was just doing some paperwork. The GPSr was pointing directly at his car! As I approached he rolled his window down and asked if I needed help. I described what I was doing and mentioned that he was apparently parked on top of the container. He asked me if I was looking for a small tube. It was a mystery cache so I had no idea but I said that chances were it was. He got out of his car and kicked a small log over revealing a waterproof match holder in a hollowed out part of the log. I said "Thank you" and he said "Good luck" and got in his car and drove off. Now I wish I had asked him how he knew it was there.

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We had an encounter with a park cop--all to get a FTF. Gez. It was nearing sunset. We parked on the road near the trail. We headed down the asphalt trail only to turn around and see a police SUV headed down the trail toward us. We had apparently parked where we weren't allowed. Maybe because we didn't look like kids up to no good, he gave us a pass and told us to enjoy our walk. We encountered him again as we crossed the street to try and get the other FTF. The geo-husband asked if we should move and he said we were all right. Got one FTF. It was getting too dark to nab the second one--but it was worth it!

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You just need to have some common sense regarding its placement. You shouldn't use ammo boxes in popular suburban and urban parks. If you do, it should be labeled clearly as a geocache and with contact info. I'm dismayed by all the ammo boxes I've found right next to heavily used trails, complete with the military markings intact. Often not hidden very well either.

 

If I wasn't a geocacher and found one I know I would probably think it was ominous looking and reason for concern.

Exactly! I've seen the same thing many times. You really have to wonder what people are thinking. The problem with common sense is that it isn't very common. Ammo cans are my favorite container too and I'd hate to see them banned because people don't use good sense.

 

I've had one encounter with the police while geocaching. I had just parked and headed into the trees when a Sheriff pulled up. I walked back to the car and he asked me what I was doing and how long I'd been there. I told him I'd just arrived and I was geocaching. He looked at my cache bag (it's made out of netting) and my GPS and then he explained that the nearby construction site had just been broken into. My explanation must have been good enough because he didn't ask for any ID and let me go back to searching.

 

I've also had one landowner encounter. After circling the general area of the cache several times I entered a gated community (the gates were open and there were several "For Sale" signs out, so I hoped no one would notice). In the back of the community where my GPS was pointing there was a large vacant area, with lots of weeds. At one end there was some construction so I parked on the other side and walked over to the cache. On the way back I noticed someone approaching. Oh Oh, the landowner. He wanted to know who I was and what I was doing. I explained geocaching and apologized if I was somewhere I shouldn't be. He seemed relieved, it turns out that the county had been giving him trouble about all the weeds and he thought I was the "weed inspector". I again explained about geocaching and said there might be others doing the same thing. He said that was fine, the gates were open 8 to 6.

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We have had 3 encounters that I recall. Better to let the logs speak for themselves.

 

Home Run Country

 

The guard was polite, but he insisted I handle the cache (so he wouldnt get blown up I guess?).

 

Arizona Imposter

 

Pens R Us II

 

I was parked in the shade of a tree at a closed entrance. The guard pulled up in his golf cart and watched me. I got out of the car and walked over to him to explain myself. No sense making him all edgy. I offered to move and he offered to obtain permission for me to park there when Mike returned to the car. All the cops and guards Ive encountered have been polite. I may disguise myself for ordinary muggles, but when it comes to guards and cops, I open up and tell them everything.

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My wife had a couple security guards help her find a cache once, but the wierdest thing I've encountered was while looking for a cache near a church playground. A lady walked up quietly and as I noticed her she took my picture very quickly with her cell phone and very quickly walked off. I told my wife this is a DNF let's go before the cops show up.

I'm very hesitant to search for caches near playgrounds anymore. There's just too many people who will jump to the wrong conclusions too quickly. Can't fault them one bit either.

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I know this topic is an old one, but I thought maybe you would find this story interesting. I found it in a German geocacher´s forum:

Two guys put a new cache high up at a lamppost. A neighbour saw it and called the police. They only came the next day, saw the cache and thought it might be a kind of antena. As there was a local airport nearby, they called the firemen in order to take the thing down. The firemen came, went up, looked at the cache and saw that it contained something that for them looked like a test tube. Obviously it ocurred to them it might be a bomb and they called the criminal police. Those brought a x-ray machine and scanned the cache before they finally were sure that it was not dangerous and could be handled.

The cache owners who had heard about all this were not sure how to react. When they finally went to the police to talk to them voluntarily, the police already knew their names, addresses, even had some fotos they found on the internet.

They were quite friendly, but the cache owners will most probably have to pay the operation.

It seems at least the police left a nice log entry for the cache, and the cache owner made a little dossier about geocaching and typical cache containers for the local police so from now on similar things should not happen again.

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I was approached by a LEO who got a call from a muggle who was reporting that a "suspicious woman was entering the woods with her baby". I had the baby in the stroller and was going on to a trail in a wooded area in the suburbs. Anyway, I explained goecaching to him, and then he watched as I made the find and then got back in my car.

I get really irritated with geomuggles who feel like they have to stop to ask what I am doing or if they can help me when I am out traipsing around on a trail or in a field with my kids. I guess it is good that people are so concerned with what others are doing, but sometimes I think they are too concerned for no reason. I think bringing along the children sometimes makes me look less concerning, but obviously in the situation above, it is what set off the red flag for someone! I always wondered what did that person think I was going to do in the woods with my baby that the cops needed to be called for?

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I was leaving a cache area at around 3am once. My brother and I were full of mud. A cop pulled me over because I was speeding. He looked us over and said, "what are you guys up too at this time?" I explained geocaching and the place we had just left. He chuckled and said, "go on get out of here." I think geocaching save me from a ticket. Thanks

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I've been checked out by the cops a couple of times. I cannot begin to tell you how handy it has been to have the Geocaching Brochure with me. I keep a dozen of so copies in my backpack. If I have an encounter with a cop, I tell him/her about it and tell them I need to open my backpack to get it out. I've only had one check the backpack out first.

 

I then give them the brochure and invite them to help me find the cache. Sadly, no takers so far, although one officer spotlighted us and his spotlight helped us find the cache. We were laughing like hyenas when he walked up to us and we thanked him for his assist!

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