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Hiding on a Mailbox


NightShift79
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i hope i'm posting in the right area here...but i had a question about potentially hiding a cache on a mailbox. i was thinking of using a magnetic key hider box and hiding it on the bottom of the mailbox. but is this considered a faux pas because of the box being a piece of government property?

 

and by the way - no that this really matters much....a mailbox is a mailbox - but the kind of mailbox i'm referring to is the kind normally found in subdivisions....the large unit types that are divided up into smaller locked mailbox units that belong to each individual house in the are.

 

any thoughts/experiences on the issue that may shed some light?

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Bad idea! Unless you inform every single resident of the subdivision (and get his or her permission), and then continually inform new residents (and get their permission), sooner or later a cacher is going to have a nasty run-in with some irate resident who wants to know why someone with an out-of-state license plate and a bunch of electronic gizmos around his neck is peering under the mailboxes. People are touchy about their mail, especially in this age of rampant identity theft. Bad, bad idea!

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Bad idea! Unless you inform every single resident of the subdivision (and get his or her permission), and then continually inform new residents (and get their permission), sooner or later a cacher is going to have a nasty run-in with some irate resident who wants to know why someone with an out-of-state license plate and a bunch of electronic gizmos around his neck is peering under the mailboxes. People are touchy about their mail, especially in this age of rampant identity theft. Bad, bad idea!

 

Not to mention it being illegal to tamper with a mailbox? Go to the USPS website and read up on it. My sister-in-law is a Postmaster, she has told me flat out that this is illegal. I think I recall her saying something about a fed crime?

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i hope i'm posting in the right area here...but i had a question about potentially hiding a cache on a mailbox. i was thinking of using a magnetic key hider box and hiding it on the bottom of the mailbox. but is this considered a faux pas because of the box being a piece of government property?

 

and by the way - no that this really matters much....a mailbox is a mailbox - but the kind of mailbox i'm referring to is the kind normally found in subdivisions....the large unit types that are divided up into smaller locked mailbox units that belong to each individual house in the are.

 

any thoughts/experiences on the issue that may shed some light?

For several reasons, I do not like this type of placement, but, as I (along with several cachers who are Los Angeles residents) have wryly noted on this forum in the past, this is an extremely common type of hide in the more urbanized areas of Los Angeles. When I visit LA, I always stumble upon this type of hide. My biggest concern, given the heightened paranoia about "terrorism" and "security" that we have seen since 9/11/2001 and given the fact that the Post Office has all kinds of strict rules about "tampering" with postal boxes, is... well, I am sure that the nature of my concern is quite obvious by now!

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Of course, all of these laws pertaining to the USPS are kind of irrelevant if the OP is thinking about hiding in Ontario (and not the one in California).

 

I've seen a couple of hides on community mailboxes in Canada and I haven't heard any uproar.

 

Canada Post is much more relaxed about the idea of the sanctity of a mail box. For example, fliers taped onto mailboxes are considered unsightly, but they don't really do anything about them.

 

That being said, a community mailbox tends to be in a fairly visible location and very close to houses. That alone can make neighbors a problem. It's probably not worth it for a magnetic micro.

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Here are the US regs:

Can a a flyer/envelope be put it in someone else's mailbox without being mailed? What if a stamp was placed on it?

 

Postage must go through the United States Postal Service and be delivered for it to be valid postage and therefore acceptable in the mail receptacle. A flyer cannot be placed in a mailbox after putting a stamp on it unless the item was actually mailed.

 

"No part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail." D041 Customer Mail Receptacles - 1.3Use for Mail

 

 

The key to this statement is in the term "postage" which is defined as: payment for a delivery service that is affixed or imprinted to a mailpiece, usually in the form of a postage stamp, permit imprint, or meter impression.

 

Notes:

 

"If you have a curbside mailbox, or a mailbox on the outside of your house, Postal Service regulations govern what can and can't be placed in them. Generally speaking, only mail that has been sent through the USPS may be placed in these types of receptacles. Conversely, USPS regulations do not govern what can be placed in a mail slot on your door. This means that if a local business wants to put a flyer in the mail slot, they can do so.

For further questions (or to report occurrences) regarding flyers being placed into your mailbox without first going through the postal system, please refer to the local Post Office.

 

 

Can I affix a flyer or poster to a United States Postal Service Collection Box?

 

United States Postal Service Collection boxes are the property of the Postal Service. You are not allowed to affix anything to them, including flyers, signs about missing items or animals, and advertisements.

 

Note: For further information please refer to the DMM section D041.1.3 or contact your Post Office."

 

Now for my take on it:

Regular maiboxes are the property of the home owner. Don't mess with them.

Neighborhood mailboxes (called NDCBUs) are owned by the neighborhood, not the government.

In both cases you can not insert or lay anything on or touching the boxes that is intended to be delivered or advertised to the reciepient. Being owned be the community I suppose you should go through them. Just don't freak out the carrier with what you put there. A key box would not freak me out. If I was a nieghbor, seeing strangers at the box would.

All this does not apply to the stand itself, only the boxes, except the part about strangers!

 

Collection boxes are obviously against the rules, although I've found key boxes on them before and are no big deal to me.

Edited by EraSeek
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It's illegal, which means it won't be listed here. Not if the reviewer knows that's how it's hidden.

This one is: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...b9-517fe553c76a

 

Owner said he had permission from local postmaster.........

 

Is this a universal "rule" for reviewers or is there local leeway??

Hey,

 

Whether the cache owner had permission from the local postmater or not...the cache is still illegal...and the postmaster should have known that. I have served as a mail carrier for a while and have a friend that works in the postal system as well as family member. It does not matter what the postmaster says, placing anything but offical USPS items on/in a postal box is illegal...matter of fact...as federal offense.

 

I agree with StarBrands actions...it was the right thing to do by requesting an archive on that cache. I have done the same thing in Minnesota with a cache...sure the cache owner may not like me, but the reveiwer appreciated the help and so did other local cachers. There are so many rules and regulations to keep up with that if one of my caches were illegal and I didn't know it...I would hope someone would do the same for me to prevent either I or other cachers trouble with the law.

 

As far as placing them...I think it is pretty clear that in the US...it is a big No, No...and down right illegal.

 

Later,

ArcherDragoon

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There is a magnet key holder cache on a USPS mailbox in my area ... outside of the concern for its being illegal, I would also like to point out the position you may be putting your potential finders in. This particular cache is quite nerve-wracking, because there is no good reason for a person to be feeling up the bottom of a post box. My biggest fear would be that a cacher would be observed seeking (or worse yet, replacing a suspicious looking black box) on a post box and would be stopped by the police. Whether they could talk their way out of it by explaining caching, as you can do in some circumstances, remains a question, because of the illegality already pointed out.

 

I have often wondered how this particular cache got approved by the local reviewer, unless the hider left out that bit of information and the reviewer doesn't know (you certainly can't tell what it is from anything in the cache description). :laughing:

 

i hope i'm posting in the right area here...but i had a question about potentially hiding a cache on a mailbox. i was thinking of using a magnetic key hider box and hiding it on the bottom of the mailbox. but is this considered a faux pas because of the box being a piece of government property?

 

and by the way - no that this really matters much....a mailbox is a mailbox - but the kind of mailbox i'm referring to is the kind normally found in subdivisions....the large unit types that are divided up into smaller locked mailbox units that belong to each individual house in the are.

 

any thoughts/experiences on the issue that may shed some light?

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I have often wondered how this particular cache got approved by the local reviewer, unless the hider left out that bit of information and the reviewer doesn't know (you certainly can't tell what it is from anything in the cache description). :laughing:

In this case, why not log a Needs Archived note or send an email to the reviewer who published it? Why let it continue to be found and set a (bad) example for others?

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I guess that is because I "taste like chicken." :D I guess as a newer cacher I was sorta waiting to figure out what all the rules were, but it has become pretty clear to me that this definitely breaks them. But you're right, I should, and will.

 

I have often wondered how this particular cache got approved by the local reviewer, unless the hider left out that bit of information and the reviewer doesn't know (you certainly can't tell what it is from anything in the cache description). :laughing:

In this case, why not log a Needs Archived note or send an email to the reviewer who published it? Why let it continue to be found and set a (bad) example for others?

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I have often wondered how this particular cache got approved by the local reviewer, unless the hider left out that bit of information and the reviewer doesn't know (you certainly can't tell what it is from anything in the cache description). :D

In this case, why not log a Needs Archived note or send an email to the reviewer who published it? Why let it continue to be found and set a (bad) example for others?

I did just that (see above) and the cache continues to exist. So again I ask - is this a universal rule for reviewers or is there some local leeway - I'd just like to know..... :laughing:

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I did just that (see above) and the cache continues to exist. So again I ask - is this a universal rule for reviewers or is there some local leeway - I'd just like to know..... :laughing:

Verifiable permission is a good thing, particularly in a case like this. A note to the reviewer so they can look into it is still the right way to go. A Needs Archived log isn't a guarantee that the cache will be archived, it's a flag for the reviewer to look into it. If it is determined the cache violates a guidelines (or in this case a law), the cache will be dealt with accordingly. If you know for a fact the cache is in violation, a separate email to the reviewer that published it might be in order in case the notice got lost in the shuffle.

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I did just that (see above) and the cache continues to exist. So again I ask - is this a universal rule for reviewers or is there some local leeway - I'd just like to know..... :D

Verifiable permission is a good thing, particularly in a case like this. A note to the reviewer so they can look into it is still the right way to go. A Needs Archived log isn't a guarantee that the cache will be archived, it's a flag for the reviewer to look into it. If it is determined the cache violates a guidelines (or in this case a law), the cache will be dealt with accordingly. If you know for a fact the cache is in violation, a separate email to the reviewer that published it might be in order in case the notice got lost in the shuffle.

Nothing like a good old fashioned middle of the road fence sitter with a leg on either side answer. Thanks!! email being sent.......... :D:laughing:

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Every one here keeps sayin how you cant put nothin on goverment property....i dont know bout youins but the goverment didnt buy my mailbox or the pole it sits on eigther..seems perfectly fine to me..speacaily if you afix your micro to the pole....i dont see the goverment complaing bout defacing public property eigther for people painting thier maibox any color or design they want ,,or even planting possies around them....i,d go for it,,might even do it myself....

Edited by team lagonda
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i hope i'm posting in the right area here...but i had a question about potentially hiding a cache on a mailbox. i was thinking of using a magnetic key hider box and hiding it on the bottom of the mailbox. but is this considered a faux pas because of the box being a piece of government property?

...

No, it's considered a faux pas because ... it ... is ... a ... MAGNETIC KEY HIDER BOX!

 

:D ... just kidding ... kind of :laughing:

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Every one here keeps sayin how you cant put nothin on goverment property....i dont know bout youins but the goverment didnt buy my mailbox or the pole it sits on eigther..seems perfectly fine to me..speacaily if you afix your micro to the pole....i dont see the goverment complaing bout defacing public property eigther for people painting thier maibox any color or design they want ,,or even planting possies around them....i,d go for it,,might even do it myself....

Not 100% about now, but it used to be that your home mailbox said something to the effect of it being owned by the USPS (even though you bought it). You do own the post and such, but try putting it wherever YOU want to...just off the road (ina driveway) might not work for the mailperson, opposite side of the road...nope, not if they don't like it. I know, I just say a friend go through this. The USPS can be picky too...

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Not to mention it being illegal to tamper with a mailbox? Go to the USPS website and read up on it. My sister-in-law is a Postmaster, she has told me flat out that this is illegal. I think I recall her saying something about a fed crime?

 

i dont know if this matters but i am in canada, so it'd be the canada post i'd be dealing with.

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Of course, all of these laws pertaining to the USPS are kind of irrelevant if the OP is thinking about hiding in Ontario (and not the one in California).

 

I've seen a couple of hides on community mailboxes in Canada and I haven't heard any uproar.

 

Canada Post is much more relaxed about the idea of the sanctity of a mail box. For example, fliers taped onto mailboxes are considered unsightly, but they don't really do anything about them.

 

That being said, a community mailbox tends to be in a fairly visible location and very close to houses. That alone can make neighbors a problem. It's probably not worth it for a magnetic micro.

 

i actually just posted a reply saying that i am in ontario canada (i posted it before i read this). i was just going to say that around here we have NO issues about flyers and such on our communal mailboxes. the one i'm referring to when discussing hiding a cache has tons on it already. so i still dont know how well/poorly a hidden cache would go over on it.

 

but i do see what people are saying in terms of the neighbours seeing carful after carful show up and snoop around the mailbox. i can understand how that might pose problems. i guess i see this area as an opportunity for potential finders to use their stealth skills. and the whole reason i thought of this area is because its just down the street from me and i thought i might get a kick out of actually SEEING people find my cache :laughing:

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It's illegal, which means it won't be listed here. Not if the reviewer knows that's how it's hidden.

This one is: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...b9-517fe553c76a

 

Owner said he had permission from local postmaster.........

 

Is this a universal "rule" for reviewers or is there local leeway??

 

In the US, the local postmaster doesn't have the authority to supercede the law that is established, technically.

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Of course, all of these laws pertaining to the USPS are kind of irrelevant if the OP is thinking about hiding in Ontario (and not the one in California).

 

I've seen a couple of hides on community mailboxes in Canada and I haven't heard any uproar.

 

Canada Post is much more relaxed about the idea of the sanctity of a mail box. For example, fliers taped onto mailboxes are considered unsightly, but they don't really do anything about them.

 

That being said, a community mailbox tends to be in a fairly visible location and very close to houses. That alone can make neighbors a problem. It's probably not worth it for a magnetic micro.

 

i actually just posted a reply saying that i am in ontario canada (i posted it before i read this). i was just going to say that around here we have NO issues about flyers and such on our communal mailboxes. the one i'm referring to when discussing hiding a cache has tons on it already. so i still dont know how well/poorly a hidden cache would go over on it.

 

but i do see what people are saying in terms of the neighbours seeing carful after carful show up and snoop around the mailbox. i can understand how that might pose problems. i guess i see this area as an opportunity for potential finders to use their stealth skills. and the whole reason i thought of this area is because its just down the street from me and i thought i might get a kick out of actually SEEING people find my cache :blink:

Being one of your volunteer reviewers, I would request the you obtain permission from your local post master before listing the cache. This would include the box at the end of your driveway. I don't get home delivery and have planned a cache as such including getting permission of my local post master and informing my neighbours of the cache. If it might be a federal offense, why would anyone want to put cache seekers through the potential problems that could ensue.

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This thread shows how often people don't read the posts (myself included often).

 

The guy is in Canada, not the US. They are pretty easy going up there.

 

In the US you DO own your own box, but the post office says what you are allowed to put in it and on it regarding unauthorized "mail". Paint it what ever color you like. Put a daisy on it. Don't lay a phone book on it.

 

Put your box wherever you like, but we won't deliever it unless it meets our regs.

 

A magnetic key holder isn't going to send anyone to federal prison. Just don't freak anyone out or the local constabulary may give you a bit of grief.

 

If someone puts a cache in a dumb spot, don't be dumb enough to think you have to find it.

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This thread shows how often people don't read the posts (myself included often).

 

The guy is in Canada, not the US. They are pretty easy going up there.

 

In the US you DO own your own box, but the post office says what you are allowed to put in it and on it regarding unauthorized "mail". Paint it what ever color you like. Put a daisy on it. Don't lay a phone book on it.

 

Put your box wherever you like, but we won't deliever it unless it meets our regs.

 

A magnetic key holder isn't going to send anyone to federal prison. Just don't freak anyone out or the local constabulary may give you a bit of grief.

 

If someone puts a cache in a dumb spot, don't be dumb enough to think you have to find it.

BTW, for those who haven't figured it out - EraSeek is a US postal carrier (aka mailman), so his posts are from the "horse's mouth," so to speak. :blink:

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It's illegal, which means it won't be listed here. Not if the reviewer knows that's how it's hidden.

This one is: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...b9-517fe553c76a

 

Owner said he had permission from local postmaster.........

 

Is this a universal "rule" for reviewers or is there local leeway??

Hey,

 

Whether the cache owner had permission from the local postmater or not...the cache is still illegal...and the postmaster should have known that. I have served as a mail carrier for a while and have a friend that works in the postal system as well as family member. It does not matter what the postmaster says, placing anything but offical USPS items on/in a postal box is illegal...matter of fact...as federal offense.

 

I agree with StarBrands actions...it was the right thing to do by requesting an archive on that cache. I have done the same thing in Minnesota with a cache...sure the cache owner may not like me, but the reveiwer appreciated the help and so did other local cachers. There are so many rules and regulations to keep up with that if one of my caches were illegal and I didn't know it...I would hope someone would do the same for me to prevent either I or other cachers trouble with the law.

 

As far as placing them...I think it is pretty clear that in the US...it is a big No, No...and down right illegal.

 

Later,

ArcherDragoon

 

I guess I am little grumpy this morning so I am going to add this.

 

Sit down and ask yourself this question before you hide this or any cache. Am I offering anything unique, different, or special by putting this cache here? Is finding this magnetic key holder stuck under this metal box going to be a memorable hunt for the many cachers that I am going to send there? If the answer is as much as a maybe, then weigh that against the fact that somebody will no doubt request that it be archived.

 

So, I will put in a vote for it being a bad idea even it if was legal.

 

Thank-you for listening. I feel better now.

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We've had a lot of these sorts of caches on mailboxes around here. There must be a nicer place to hide a cache regardless of the legal issues. Outside of being easy number-pumpers, I haven't found one yet that had any sort of redeeming value. Just my opinion.

 

Yeah, I agree. In fact having been a defender of micros in the past but I've now about had it with them. Only rarely do you find a micro worth a darn. The rare good ones are so overwhelmed with bad ones I'm just tired of them.

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i was thinking of using a magnetic key hider box and hiding it on the bottom of the mailbox. but is this considered a faux pas because of the box being a piece of government property?

 

I can't speak for anyone but myself here, but the only faux-pas I see here is the use of a magnetic key hider box hidden on the bottom of anything.

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I can't speak for anyone but myself here, but the only faux-pas I see here is the use of a magnetic key hider box hidden on the bottom of anything.

 

why? what is the difference - when placing a micro - between a magnetic key box and a 35mm film canister? all it is is a different container....

 

I'd feel the same way about either if was placed with that little originality.

 

(both your caching name & your avitar show that you know what I'm talking about!)

Edited by knowschad
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I found a cache (now archived) which was a 8"x11" plastic envelope. It was addressed to the cacher who hid it (with the correct postage) and was attached to the mailbox with 4 small magnets in the narrow gap just above the handle that you pull open the mailbox with. One side was the same color blue as the mailbox, and the other side had the address and postage. People were mailing stuff and not noticing that it directly above the opening. It reportedly was eventually mailed. I thought that it was clever and not anything that the post office would get concerned about, other than suspicious people (like me) who had been looking underneath for a hide-a-key..

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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In the US you DO own your own box, but the post office says what you are allowed to put in it and on it regarding unauthorized "mail". Paint it what ever color you like. Put a daisy on it. Don't lay a phone book on it.

 

Technically this is not correct. I've posted the actual US regulations on here before, but it's been probably a year ago...and don't feel like dredging through topics even with the search function to find it.

 

Here is an article, however, that explains a similar issue...

 

http://www.educationreport.org/article.aspx?ID=5394

 

Personally, I'd avoid placing caches on mailboxes, but it's widely done and at the end of the day is probably a low risk gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

Edited by egami
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I can't speak for anyone but myself here, but the only faux-pas I see here is the use of a magnetic key hider box hidden on the bottom of anything.

 

why? what is the difference - when placing a micro - between a magnetic key box and a 35mm film canister? all it is is a different container....

 

I'd feel the same way about either if was placed with that little originality.

 

(both your caching name & your avitar show that you know what I'm talking about!)

Well, I guess you needed to be more specific, like in your second post. The first time you said, "the only faux-pas I see here is the use of a magnetic key hider box hidden on the bottom of anything." The second time you said, "placed with that little originality." So it seems you're not saying that any key hider under anything is generically bad in every case, but only when it is not fairly original.

 

Right? :lol:

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I can't speak for anyone but myself here, but the only faux-pas I see here is the use of a magnetic key hider box hidden on the bottom of anything.

 

why? what is the difference - when placing a micro - between a magnetic key box and a 35mm film canister? all it is is a different container....

 

I'd feel the same way about either if was placed with that little originality.

 

(both your caching name & your avitar show that you know what I'm talking about!)

Well, I guess you needed to be more specific, like in your second post. The first time you said, "the only faux-pas I see here is the use of a magnetic key hider box hidden on the bottom of anything." The second time you said, "placed with that little originality." So it seems you're not saying that any key hider under anything is generically bad in every case, but only when it is not fairly original.

 

Right? :lol:

 

Here's what I think he is trying to say. In some rare cases, a magnetic key holder is all that can be used as a cache container that provides a little ROI for the finder like learning some history or a great view etc. In most cases, not. In the case of sticking to a mailbox, probably never. If this is what he is trying to say, I agree.

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