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Finding unusual items near caches?

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Ok guys and girls, I'm new to geocaching but came across something today that threw me off a little bit. We went to grab some lunch and I remembered there being a micro hidden behind the fast-food place. I searched my GPSr for it and it pointed the way. There was a obvious hiding spot (a big bushy tree) and when we pulled up next to it I could see a large backpack stuck up in the middle of the tree. I remembered reading that this cache was a micro and the GPSr was jumping around and telling me I was about 45 ft. away. I am curious as to what could possibly be in the (not so) hidden backpack but in today's world I am afraid to open it. :cool:

So what would you do? Open it? Leave it alone? Notify the police of a suspicious package?

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Depends. How big is the backpack? Does it have a stench of death around it? There is nothing wrong with notifying the police if you are unsure about it.


I'd have to agree with that, if you inform the police, they will decide if it is a potential threat to public safety or not, and act accordingly. But of course, it's PROBABLY nothing.

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Depends. How big is the backpack? Does it have a stench of death around it? There is nothing wrong with notifying the police if you are unsure about it.


I'd consider it to be rather large, overly stuffed. I didn't exit the truck to smell it :-)

I'm going back up there with camera in hand and I'll post an image ASAP. If I get up the nerve to pull it down I'll let you know what happens (well...I'll try and let you know...if I still have all of my fingers to type with)

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I think I might have answered this once before in a previous thread. I was doing a cache in a local park and was being watched by a police officer on his lunch break. I found a crack pipe in the area of the cache. I motioned for him to come over. He collected the pipe. I still have yet to find the cache.

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We found something similar, but it was a bag weighted down and covered with roots and stones, but it was at a very rural area.


In our case it was a dead pet that someone had taken out and put out there to "bury" it. Trust me, if it's something dead you'll know if it's even a LITTLE bit ripe....




The Mr tossed his cookies over it, I just held my breath and kept a GOOD distance and even that wasn't good enough :cool:

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On the serious side, wear protective disposable gloves when touching the bag. Seriously, in our area, this would be a prime candidate for an abandoned portable meth lab. They can be very serious to deal with so handle with care. If it appears to be a lab be prepared to call the police so they can dispose of it safely. Be careful out there!

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This is the mysterious bag about 50 feet from the cache site. I was barking up the wrong tree :-)

I checked out the exterior of the bag and saw the front pocket unzipped. Inside was a stick of deodorant (I'm thinking homeless guy's bag) and then I found what I was looking for. An ID Card!


Here is the ID Card. As soon as I read what it said, I yanked it out of the bag, jumped in the truck and hit the GAS!! :)


I drove straight to the police station and luckily an officer I know helped us out. He took one look at the ID and said "Wow, you found Chester the Molester", LOL. He had heard about a local church that was allowing homeless folks to sleep on a school bus in that parking lot. I didn't see anybody around nor did I see the bus but guess what?

When we went back to check out the bag, it was GONE! It had been there for hours (from the time we first saw it out caching and I started this forum topic and it was there when we went back to open it up) I was so ticked off that it was gone. I really wanted to know what was in it. I'll be keeping an eye out for this guy as he appears to be very creepy. I really wasn't expecting this kind of outcome. I thought it was just a bag in a tree...lol

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I'm glad the bomb squad didn't come out. There would be something ironic about a geocacher getting the bomb squad called on an innocent backpack.


I wonder what type of trouble he's going to get into now that you stole his ID card.

I wonder what kind of trouble he was in in the first place to become a "County Inmate"


ETA: Can't find his criminal record, but he was definitely born.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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A stash hidden like that is obviously some bum's stash. I find them all the time and just leave them alone. Bums have been caching long before we got into it and they get annoyed as much as we do when their cache gets muggled. Sometimes it is a survival issue to them but most of the time they are just losing their dope or paraphernalia.


Poking around in them is likely to get you stuck by a needle,finding something gross or causing a confrontation by it's owner.


If something definitely looks suspicious as in "could be a bomb" and is placed strategically where it can do some serious damage then report it immediately but don't fiddle with it.


Happy Hunting!

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I got a kick out of reading all of the funny responses to my original message. I also think it's funny that some of you think what I did was wrong. I'm sorry but a backpack hidden behind a very busy restaurant that could possibly contain weapons (I never said bombs) or drugs is something I thought should be taken care of. I don't care if some bum lost his ID card because I found his pack. The police thought it was a good idea to snatch the ID just incase something comes from it. If it would have been a driver's license or state ID card I wouldn't have taken it, it was the fact that it was an INMATE ID! The police were happy to be warned that this particular individual is more than likely hanging out in the area (or hopefully just passing through) and they were going to run a background check on him to see what he might have been up to. Oh, did I mention this area is located near a school campus as well? Common sense tells me that homeless or recently released inmates probably have some sort of weapon to protect themselves out on the streets and I was uncomfortable in just leaving the bag 4 foot up in the tree (not 45 ft.) where it was easily reached. Anyways, thanks for the humor (one way or the other) :)

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I think that paranoia is a terrible thing! (The voices told me so!) I had my pocket knife taken from me going to the observation deck of the Empire State Building last week. Huh? Were they afraid I was going to try to hijack the building? Security is one thing. Paranoia is quite another thing.

I would have left the bag alone. Homeless people are quite protective of their belongings. I give them as wide a berth as possible. (Tough when they're sleeping in the middle of the trail. Oh,well.) I would have left the bag alone. Not my property. None of my business.

Terrorists blowing up trees behind fast food joints?

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if he's not escaped, he's probably on parole and needs that card. if he has a backpack stashed behind a business, he's probably homeless and needs that stuff.


i've been taught some hard, hard lessons about how easy it is to become homeless through a few poor choices or even just some bad luck. once you are homeless, it is very hard to survive without becoming a criminal. engaging in criminal behavior often educates you on how to be a better criminal.


it's difficult to break the cycle even if you want to.


it isn't any more wrong to take his stuff than it is for someone to take a geocache they find lying around.


it was probably right for you to at least have a look at the bag, and probably right to notify the police in case he's under outstanding warrants or at least in case he comes up short without his ID when he's rightfully asked for it.


i only hope that the person who took his bag after you found it was him.

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