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Have you ever gotten in trouble while finding a cache?

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I was going to go out caching today for an LPC cache. But I read the log first and this morning someone posted that the previous member/logger went to find this cache in daylight (I guess he knew this member) and that the cache container was taken away by the police and the police started an investigation.


So this got me wondering. Has any of you ever gotten caught by police while finding a cache (in a bad way)?

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I had a rent-a-cop ask what I was doing and then help me look for the cache. I've had the highway patrol pull in behind me twice within 10 minutes at two different caches - two different officers as well. Both left when I told them what I was doing and simply said to be careful since I was near the rural highway. My wife and I were questioned briefly by a police officer while searching for a cache and then, when he came back by a short time later, he waved and grinned. My first LEO encounter was at 10:30 PM or so and I was "lit up" by two cars with 3 officers. I told them what I was doing and showed them the cache. Their response was relief that they didn't have to do the paperwork for a person breaking the law.


I make sure I'm not breaking any laws when I geocache and, therefore, don't mind at all if a law enforcement officer asks for information regarding my activities. It just shows that they are doing their job.

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Not yet, but I thought my first encounter was going to happen last Wednesday. <_< Turns out it was a "Water Pollution Control Center" worker. <_< Who noticed we looked a little lost and helped us back out to where we were supposed to be.


Hey, it that a Scuzzlebutt? :unsure:


Police, yes. Landowners, no. Wife, definitely. :unsure:

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I was on the organizing committee of the Spokane Cache Machine 2 and we notified the police and sheriff offices in the route area before the event happened. Sure glad we did, as 250 cachers racing around town from dawn to dusk did stir up a few calls and cacher-police incidents. But, as they were notified of our event, they just confirmed that the subject in question was a participating cacher, and then all was well, and the cachers were back on track in just minutes. Whew!


Since then, I've become the police/SWAT contact when they find 'suspicious' items hidden in the area, and I have fielded a few calls... luckily they WERE caches (so far!) and everything has worked out OK. <_<

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Yes, several times, but none of them were anything like the OP. We were out of state and hoping to find a cache in a business/industrial park just off of a major interstate. After stopping at a nearby restaurant, we entered the area from the back side and stopped (out of courtesy) for a yellow-light rent-a-cop who was having a slow night. He started feeding us some story about how we were trespassing in a "secure restricted area" (i.e. the 4-lane road that bisects the park), but he quickly figured out that we weren't buying it when we told him that we were just trying to find a way to get back on the freeway.


My other two experiences were the officer who pulled up to us as we searched the wooded area beside a shopping center. When we started to explain geocaching, he replied that he already knew about the cache, but usually stopped to check because of some shady types who liked to hang out in the area. Then there was the state trooper who pulled in behind me as I pulled onto an exit shoulder to get a cache just off the interstate. He asked if I needed assistance, and I held up the atlas in my hand and indicated that I was fine. He drove on.


I've run into plenty of landowners, and a number of times have been stopped on property where the previous owner gave permission for the hide, but the property has since changed hands. In one case, the new landowner had stopped several previous hunters to see what they were doing, and had misunderstood them, leading them to think that they had a "geode cache" somewhere on the property. When they told me that they had searched the woods but never found any interesting rocks, I corrected them and showed them the cache. This scenario ended in a positive note; they decided that they didn't mind the cache being on their land and wanted it to stay.

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Seems like there's a new thread asking this question every month.


I don't have time to Markwell them so I will just say that in dozens of police checks while geocaching they've never given me anything but a pleasant experience - they check me out, maybe run my ID, ask what I am up to, I explain the game and they go on their way.


I have been asked to leave only once... in a ball field late at night that closed at dark.


I do know of one geocacher in Arkansas who was arrested while hunting a cache that was hidden without permission and given a one-year suspended sentence and ordered not to geocache during that year.

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We made the mistake of searching for a cache on an abandoned railroad at 2am during the week of homecoming in Brandon, SD. Two policemen stopped us on the way out. We had printed the cache page incase this had happened and we showed it to them. They ran our IDs and let us go. I think they were hoping we were some teens out drinking past curfew.


The next day a highway patrol stopped us at another cache and just made sure we were all right and left right away.

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Since then, I've become the police/SWAT contact when they find 'suspicious' items hidden in the area, and I have fielded a few calls... luckily they WERE caches (so far!) and everything has worked out OK. :o


Hahahahaha! I need to repeat your procedure step by step so that by the time I clear out all the caches in this area and start hunting FTFs, I can have the entire police force helping me out.


Would that be considered cheating?

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Update to OP: Just found out that the reason for the investigation was because the cache was an LPC and was hidden in a light pole right next to a kerosene pump at a gas station!! Not the best place for someone to hide a cache. I was at the gas station today and the pole where the cache was hidden was about 3 or 4 feet away from the kerosene pump. The cache is being relocated by the hider.

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April 29, 2006 by mudsneaker (1198 found)

So do I get to claim FTGB? (First to Get Busted?) I was the lucky one to take one for the team I guess. We had made our return trip landing only to get nabbed by THE LAW.

He was rather excited to have discovered such wanton disregard for THE LAW. So off I go to get my lashings. After some negotiations and offerings of coffee n donuts, we came to an agreement that I should be STERNLY warned and released to the custody of fellow cachers.

This all came about from no life jackets on the Alien Visitor kids. The 40' distance didnt matter, or the large crowd of potential rescuers. So be sure to bring em or THE LAW might come and get you!!

PS. Great cache! I had a blast!


Legion's Log




Just one of many encounters with LEO's, although this was the first one to actually take it a step beyond checking my I.D.


Heres the hardened criminals at work


Edited by mudsneaker
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The worst that has happened to me was being stopped by a guard.

I was looking for a cache that was hidden in a fence close to an embassy, and when I walked back past the embassy I was stopped by a guard that asked if I had put anything into the wall. I explained what I was doing, and he let me go.


So no, I guess I haven't ever gotten in trouble. But notice that I have <40 finds under my belt, and the abovementioned cache was something around my 20th. :o


A local cacher had an encounter with a landowner while looking for a cache that was (oops) on private property.


She explained what she was doing.


The landowner is now an avid geocacher with hundreds of finds.

Cool! I love how easy it is to get people interested in Geocaching. Well, there's a reason for it being easy!

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We haven't yet, which is surprising since several cops have passed by us when we cache. I need to print out one of those brochures so that if this does happen I can show it to them.


I carry the folding card located HERE


It's come in handy a few times when speaking with curious folks who might otherwise become hostile. It's done the trick every time so far.

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So this got me wondering. Has any of you ever gotten caught by police while finding a cache (in a bad way)?


I have had several encounters with police while geocaching, but each time the police officer had heard about geocaching. One time, by the time I had gotten back to my car, they had already run my plates and greeted me by name. :o


I have not run into any REAL problems, and hope not to... I find a "security person" to be a bit more of a problem than an actual police officer. But "hey - they're doing their job" and sometimes I imagine I look pretty suspicious. ;)

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We got stopped by the Police once. It was near a snowmobile trail and 2 cops were checking snowmobilers for valid ownerships and insurance ect... We had parked on the side of the road before they had arrived and went into the bush to find the cash. We come out and one of the officers is looking at our car and our footprints while the other is talking to a sledder. He had no idea what caching was and though our car was stolen. We began explaining it to him when the other cop piped up and said, "you've never heard of geocaching before?"

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No, not yet, but I have gotten suspicious looks from Police when I was looking for some urban Caches. I now carry the brochure, and folding card just in case, as well as my school I.D., in case a LEO or police officer asks for some I.D. I find that this is a good type of I.D. to carry because it not only has my picture, but the school's name, adress, my grade and student I.D. number as well, which is good in case they have to check the validity, because the I.D. number can be traced through the district to prove residency, age e.t.c.

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In rural areas I would think it best to get the town cop into geocaching. That guy can walk anywhere and no one ever stops him.... no better geobuddy.


To scale this to slightly larger towns (with more than just the one cop) I might suggest that you focus your efforts on the Chief of Police. Same reasons, plus, all the minons work for him, so again, no problems.


To all the threads about geocaching armed, well, how much easier could it be to call a cop than to just yell "hey Tom" and not even have to dial or anything.... :unsure: and if the situation goes south fast and you use your own weapon to protect yourself, you've got the best witness you could hope for!

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Friday we almost had a run in. It was my first private property cache. We parked on the road across from a house. Walked into the woods, found the cache and left. As we were leaving a state car started moving towards us. We had already driven a quarter mile from the spot. As we got further we looked back and noticed the cop put his brake lights on right where we were. Luckily we were far enough and out of enough suspicion (we were already on the road as he showed) that it would have been no biggy. We decided to get the brochure made up for another similar incident.

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I have had several run ins with police, mostly because I do a lot of night caching, Im a night owl, what can i say. Once hunting a cache which turned out to be on park property (shame on my for not doing my research ahead of time), several times while out along a bike trail at 2am beside a 4 lane highway... parking lots, all over the place, and all but one have been pleasent, once they hear what you are doing, they either agree and say have fun, or give you the look "why the heck is it fun to find things in the middle of the night in the middle of the woods??" The one negative experience was with a fairly new officer in a small town with an even smaller police force... I actually wasnt in the act of caching, but sitting in the truck looking over where I would be going next, parked legally in a parking space, truck idling, interior lights on, 7-11 parking lot (24 hours)... he removed me from my truck, disarmed me, threatened me with tresspass and brandishing, and wanted to hear nothing about why I looked suspicious in the trees behind the center 10 minutes earlier. LOL. Maybe one of the geocaching cards in his mailbox at the station will do him some good. LOL.

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Never had any problem with any Law Dogs (from Tombstone) I guess I look offical when I am caching I wear green police tactical pants with a tan shirt and hat and military LBV (Load Bearing Vest) sometimes I am carring a 6 foot walking stick. I also stick to hiking/biking/riding trails or parks most of the time and I don't night cache.


I have gotten in trouble with my wife before as in "Were are you at and when are you coming home?" "You mean to tell me you have been caching THIS long?"

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Hey, it that a Scuzzlebutt? :anibad:




Yeah, it is a Scuzzlebutt. :) I was trying to find a nice looking Bigfoot type monster for our MarshMonster picture. The other one that I choose was a Bigfoot from an indie filmed in my old neighborhood titled "Big Foot". All the pictures that I could find Big Foot looked menacing and scary. :)

Pretty soon I will have one of my own drawings up.


Still haven't been stopped by the police yet. I did use some caution when caching on vacation. A lot of kids and adults were out on Spring break and some of the micro caches brought me in high Muggle areas. I had to ignore some because I didn't want to cause a panic by lifting lamppost skirts and going behind semi trucks to guardrails. I figure I will stop back again and grab the caches when the areas are less crowded.

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I've been approached once by a LEO. I was parked on the side of a road between a highway and a boat ramp on the Ohio river with my blinkers on. He stopped to see if I was OK, I told him I was geocaching, and he said he'd heard of it and left. He probably roused the couple making that car shake back at the boat dock :)


I've never had any problems with land owners. It sounds like most of the landowner problems reported in this thread could have been easily avoided by simply asking permission before placing a hide :anibad:

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