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'Envioronmental' Cache Vandals


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Am I correct in saying all these trashed/removed caches are Trads? Take 'Gecaching.com Google Map' links, clear clues and one or more green (in more than the environmental sense) vigilantes and you've a recipe for easy muggling, sans expensive GPS. Hide more simple Off-set Multis!

 

The one I quoted was a premium cache....which is a bit odd?? and raises many questions.

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My '138' has gone.

 

I'll be sending a calm and considered email to c1213696 (for what it's worth) explaining that I place caches for people to visit areas of the countryside they wouldn't ordinarily and the purpose and sentimental value of the travel bugs that were in the cache.

Edited by mattyboy
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I've read through the other posts on the forum and I reckon it's a group of idealisic sixth-formers with too much time on their hands and daddy's sat-nav. My caches were both right by roads/tracks that appear on my tom tom.

 

Most of my others are in the middle of nowhere and require too much effort to get to. I'll leave mine where they are, cross my fingers and wait for this to blow over.

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Hi,

 

We've just had one of ours done in the same manner ("Lutterworth in Flight" and on checking his profile for today, he/she has done 3 others today all with the same username. "c1213696"

 

I have sent an email to Groundspeak, will see what they say if / when they reply.

 

I will make all my other caches Premium Member only for now and see what happens

 

Alternatively I may collect all mine in tomorrow.

 

Rik

Email to Groundspeak, well don't hold your breath for a reply, and if you do it will be absolutely no help what so ever

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Email to Groundspeak, well don't hold your breath for a reply, and if you do it will be absolutely no help what so ever

I thought they were concerned with the integrity of the site and the good name of the sport in general. Sure these cache vandals are playing a game by setting up multiple accounts but surely the site owners ought to be keen to shut each one down as soon as it gets reported to them.

 

I suspect they would react quicker if people started moving their listings to other listing sites such as Terracaching or Navicache.

 

Or am I just being an old cynic?

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As someone mentioned, banning IP is likely not the answer, particularly for those ISPs which have dynamic (or semi-dynamic) IP allocation. It might not work, may ban a legitamite cacher who inhereits the banned IP or can simply be bypassed by other measures.

 

I feel this situation is unforunate and sad, especially for those cache owners affected who have put a lot of effort in placing caches which I and others have got lots of enjoyment from.

 

As a non-premium member - it's sad to see the Google caching map around where I live - it's now a desert (though again I understand why caches have been made premium) :laughing: The only thing I would say though is that for someone looking mostly at the map, it does give the impression these actions are working and caches are being removed by the owner - further encouraging it.

 

If this blows over then fine. If more long term action is needed and premium listing don't work I wonder is a key based cypto system of gaining cords might be possible. It's even possible to set up ourselves if GC.com ignores this problem. Or perhaps placing less costly to replace containers, and having virtual criteria a backup for logging finds if the container is stolen.

 

Not ideal and we're not there yet, but I'd rather do that than give up caching and permit this person to suceed.

Edited by jlggps
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I received the following reply from Groundspeak so you can see the action they can take is pretty limited and I have since reported the most recent one. They tend to do about 3 per address and then change. The Premium only one done may well have changed its classification since it was removed but this could be checked with the owner. A report by Watford Wobble indicates that perhaps his may well have gone to another 'firm'.

Some of the comments on here do little to help the situation as the people concerned must be reading them and 'having a laugh'. Therefore it might be wise to communicate personally 'off Forum' with any ground breaking suggestions?

Dragontree

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Groundspeak:

 

Greetings Dragontree.

 

Thank you for your informative message. We have taken action on those accounts which have been used to log cache thefts. It would not be appropriate for us to act on the other accounts assuming they may be used in a similar manner.

 

We are sorry that caches are being stolen and hope it stops.

 

The physical caches belong to their owners, and we provide no security for physical caches. Even if the identity of someone stealing caches can be determined somehow, our action is limited to enforcing the site's terms of use in the event we have adequate information to show that a violation of the terms of use exists.

 

All behavior has a positive intent - the person stealing the caches has a reason for doing so and gains satisfaction from doing so. For the behavior to stop, either the reason for the behavior or the reward for the behavior needs to be removed.

 

Since physical caches are the property of the cache owner, cache owners have the option of reporting thefts of personal property to the appropriate local police.

 

The fact that the cache thief or thieves leaves messages on cache pages at least alerts the cache owner of the issue. Otherwise, there might be several DNFs before the cache owner would realize that their cache is gone.

 

Sincerely,

 

B--- W----

---

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The reply from Groundspeak is pretty much what i'd expected to hear. The only thing is if these 'other accounts' they mention are linked to the email email address it would be a fair assumption that the accounts could be used maliciously.

 

Anyway, POSITIVE NEWS: I've replaced Identical Twins (GC16MHW). I will continue to do this is they take it again as I won't let them think that they are winning. As for overall cost of this cache, its minimal. Its local, 20p for some magnets, a film pot and some strips of paper.

I have to agree with what was said that the empty map gives the impression of success.

We'll see what happens.....

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<snip>

Some of the comments on here do little to help the situation as the people concerned must be reading them and 'having a laugh'. Therefore it might be wise to communicate personally 'off Forum' with any ground breaking suggestions?

<snip>

The people doing this want to know what effect it has on the caching community. I'm sure they do read these forums and will read logs on the caches. Whilst what they are doing is very annoying, if you can just ignore it - that is don't respond to their cache logs or delete them (unless they are very offensive), don't bring it to the forums (main or any regional ones) and certainly don't contact them via email then what they do becomes pointless.

 

Report any logs you are suspicious of directly to the UK reviewers for action with Groundspeak.

 

Chris (MrB)

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Very disappointing that some people feel the need to destroy, in whatever manner.

 

What I don't quite understand is why, if they feel it's so objectionable to pursue this activity, they don't remove the cache completely, rather than undertaking exactly the same activity as we are, but offending everyone once they've done so. Other than what they've written/removed, they are doing exactly the same thing, so as such, why don't they just sign as everyone else has and get on with it? Annoying though muggling is, you'd have thought that that's what they'd do if they had such a gripe with us.

 

Interesting the spelling of "useing" and lack of joined-up writing. Draw your own conclusions on that one...

 

:laughing:

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In any public activity you will always get people who gain enjoyment from upsetting others. You only have to look around almost any town or city where you'll see grafitti, petty vandalism, litter etc. to see how widespread it is. Now geocaching has developed beyond being the plaything of a few dedicated "insiders" and has entered the "mainstream" that we all now enjoy it is inevitable that it too will be affected.

 

Until society as a whole is changed you will never stop it so we'll just have to live with it. That's not to say that we shouldn't take what steps we can, such as reporting such abuse of the system to the company that purports to own and regulate the activity on our behalf, but in the end we'll never stop it. Accept this and move on. Even if a cache has disappeared the vandals cannot take away the challenge of hunting for the location and the sense of achievement of finding it, nor can they take away the fine view or whatever special element made the cache owner choose that particular spot to bring you to. Of course, if it was a film pot in a grubby layby then that's another story!! :);):)

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Add GC1PE18 to the list of caches destroyed by these morons, destroyed on the 8th, replaced yesterday afternoon and destroyed again some time today. These people have to be local.

 

I'm also aware they have done GC1DJW7 which is in the middle of nowhere so they aren't gust doing quick cache & dash ones.

 

Naturally no reply to my email from Groundspeak as of yet

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Add GC1PE18 to the list of caches destroyed by these morons, destroyed on the 8th, replaced yesterday afternoon and destroyed again some time today. These people have to be local.

 

I'm also aware they have done GC1DJW7 which is in the middle of nowhere so they aren't gust doing quick cache & dash ones.

 

Naturally no reply to my email from Groundspeak as of yet

How do you know it's been trashed and GC1DJW7 needs checking physically!!

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Hi all

I'm new to this forum - so please be gentle with me!

I've just noticed 4 more caches have been GROEPed

GCM7HV

GC1JC9P

GC1K2MG

GC1JZRF

All around the Market Harborough end of the A14 (where I'm based)

I put all my caches on to premium members only a couple of days ago - but I'm tempted to put them back to normal as i don't want these spoil sports to win. I will remove the TBs though if i do.

What do you think - do you think its Uni students and it will die down after the Hols?

Maybe we need more puzzle caches - I don't think they would have the intellect to solve those!

:)

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The thought occurs that the attention this *cough* is getting might be fuelling their eco-ego?

 

Like a primary school bully, perhaps the best tack is to replace caches and ignore the idiot completely?

 

You are probably right....... Maybe they are tupperware salesmen trying to boost their sales! :)

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I'll pop out now and check my '138' cache.

Back soon

 

I have a log entry this morning for my Trakkabulldog PCPXYK Black Mercedes, it has gone to the bottom of a lake and the cache it was in has been destroyed. The cache was GC1P9FJ

 

The bulldog was logged as in the hands of the freak who took it. I have grabbed it back off him/her and will send another copy out soon. Does seem like we have to avoid placing stuff in this area for a while though. Sad as it is, I agree with other comments, the ISP can be traced and blocked.

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What upsets me about these people/person destroying these caches (they'll no doubt be overjoyed to hear) is that their actions are so misplaced. To say that you're protecting the environment by destroying caches, just does not make sense when there are so many other daily actions amongst modern living that are actually much worse at destroying the environment - if indeed we harm the environment at all beyond sometimes a couple of extra miles on the car (which I use as sparingly as I can).

 

As we know, cachers in general are wanting to look after the environment and caches generally are placed in positions that are nice to walk in and enjoy nature. My 4 yr old boy and I have had great fun walking along canals, walking through fields and so on. He's learning about nature with the diversion of the cache to find. Long journeys to Wales and so on have been enlivened with a cache or two en route. He's enjoyed the gliders at Launch Point near Sibbertoft - and got a cache 'treasure hunt' in to the bargain. Basically, this cache destroyer has upset my 4yr old as caches he and I so enjoy have been destroyed.

 

If this person really has a gripe with environmental destruction, then why does this person not actually demonstrate where wholesale destruction is taking place? 600 new David Wilson houses in Harborough - where is our environmental protestor? The proliferation of Sunday shopping and the ensueing Sunday traffic jams - where are you, our environmental guardian? Fly tipping down several lanes from Desborough - c'mon GROEP, get out there and stop them.

 

No no, far better to destroy a few caches and hide behind changing their user IDs.....

 

Anyway, enough. I'm sure our cache destroyer will revel in their upsetting of me towards their noble but misguided ends.

Edited by arewethereyet??
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I have a log entry this morning for my Trakkabulldog PCPXYK Black Mercedes, it has gone to the bottom of a lake.

 

I think these GROEPers are a bit confused. I'm about 99.9% sure that throwing something into a lake classes as environmental vandalism. Aren't they meant to be against that? :D

 

I'm really sorry to hear about all your caches and trackables down there though. :D

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Seems like it would be easy but timely to catch them in the act... get a couple of buddies together, replace two caches that were groped and close together and do a stake out... just dont bludgeon them to death when you catch them but scare the pee right out of them... Maybe put out a "Grope This" cache.

Edited by Strike Anywhere
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Seems like it would be easy but timely to catch them in the act... get a couple of buddies together, replace two caches that were groped and close together and do a stake out... just dont bludgeon them to death when you catch them but scare the pee right out of them... Maybe put out a "Grope This" cache.

 

Had thought exactly the same thing - but would not have posted in here as they are by now no doubt aware that this is a possibility!!!!!

 

Of course, that in itself might have a positive effect if they know people might be watching..... :D:D

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new to caching and didnt realise all the "politics" that came with it . such numpties . anyways cant you guys make your caches virtual caches for the time being so at least your map wont be so bare ???

 

keep fighting the good fight :D

 

i almost pitty the destroyers of these caches when you lot get your hands on them lol :D

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I really don't think there will be any stakeouts! No-one has any idea when these caches went missing as they claim to have done some of them months ago. Not sure anyone has the time to sit there until June to see what happens!

 

Also can't make them virtuals as they are no longer accepted on GC.com.

 

With the phrase 'any publicity is good publicity' in mind, this thread could just encourage them!

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This is not a new problem. I have not posted for some time but I do browse the posts from time to time. I am not as active as in the past. Most of my caches have been 'muggled', vandalised. call it what you will. As I replaced them, they again were 'muggled' so I had no option but to archive them.

I realised that it was no accident as the contents were gone, but the containers were still left in their hiding place.

Publicity is I am afraid bad for the hobby. It has in my opinion given a new game to the few that like to spoil things for others.

So they visit this site and register. They buy an Etrex or whatever. Do a few caches now and again log them but muggle a few more.

It would be pointless to make the caches 'prenium' as they could also pay up for this option. They would find and log, a few and again collect the contents of a lot more.

We must just hope that they get bored in time with their game.

As for 'staking out' caches. well the culprits could be bigger than you.

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I went online at lunchtime and discovered most of my local caches were now 'premium members only'. After a bit of searching I found this thread. Very dissapointed that someone could be so petty as to destroy caches. Have now become premium member and will endeavour to hide some caches of my own over the next few weeks. Let's keep the bu**ers busy!

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I have been away for a few days. Any more news on this? I am afraid that I have added a note to all my TB's asking that they aren't moved to Northamptonshire for the time being. Sorry, I know that is being a bit selfish to all the good cachers in that county, but when you think of the money we all spend on the TB's there is no point in wanting them to go to an area where they may just disappear through acts of gross vandalism and also lack of understanding of the positives that Geocaching promotes.

 

My kids love to follow the maps of TB's that we have found and have probably learnt more about different countries this way than they ever have at school. Added to that the excercise that they now get (and enjoy) through walking to caches I really do fail to understand why some prat thinks that we are damaging the countryside and/or environment.

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I've come in to this quite late in the day but have noticed something about this thread which the offenders are undoubtedly reading too......

 

First thing I noticed when I read it was that it appeared as soon as a member pointed out how cheap premium membership was we lost some premiuim member caches..... this partially leads me to belive they read it as I know I would if I was them and take great delight in reading about our outrage and publisising their actions with a list of our lost caches like some kind of trophy list.

 

Second thing I noticed is that they purport to be an environmentalist group..... they obviously are coming at this perceived 'issue' with a very narrow thought band as fundamentalists usually do as they are only focusing on the fact that we hide boxes in the country which they consider to be rubbish, pollutants..... blah, blah. They have failed to look at the positives of geocaching rather than this singular con. The other con possibly being fuel usage which really doesn't count as a lot of caching gets done 'on the way' to places so doesn't make the carbon footprint any bigger. Having spotted this I also noted that we as a group have done ourselves NO favours in this thread as we have flamed, and expressed a lot of outrage even suggesting we setup up OP's on caches to catch the offenders.... NO-ONE has expressed here in this thread what the pro's of Geocaching are!!

 

On this point I think we should do a little advertising and passing on of information that they haven't obviously haven't grasped.

 

Geocaching is a sport which promotes family togetherness, meeting new people, getting out of the house together to experience new places and learn new information. Exercise; whether that is walking or cycling (reducing the carbon footprint).

 

Geocaching is a sport that takes its members to places of interest that they would never have known about or visited without geocaching being here and the many members bringing other members into their interests and local environments with their local knowledge.

 

Geocaching makes use of the wide open spaces, the dwindling green zones of this country which are at risk of being developed. With the advent of CITO caching (Cache In Trash Out) geocachers actively help these green zones by taking home rubbish. I actively clear up the areas around my caches so that they look good when people come to visit. I have placed caches in places where there is rubbish and requested that cachers actively support me by clearing the areas and taking rubbish home with them. I have taken home bags of rubbish for correct disposal which far outway the very small plastic box I've hidden non intrusively in the hole of a tree. (reducing country pollutants)

 

Geocaching supports local projects for instance: My church series placed near or within the confines of old churches promotes cachers looking inside the church. These cachers have then donated money which has supported the upkeep of these places. Other caches around the country support other historical places as cachers are VERY inquisitive people and also very generous people.

 

Geocachers have contributed in other ways which would NOT have occurred had the not been out caching. I remember an account about cachers coming across a farm animal in distress who then contacted the farmer who called a vet. I know there are MANY other stories like this that just need to be told.......

 

For Geocaching to be targetted over environmental issues is just short of astounding based on the many good deeds and environmentally caring things that take place. Above is just an account of my part of the sport; there are hundreds of thousands of other cachers ALL OVER THE WORLD doing the same as me.

 

I'd appreciate an opportunity to discuss with anyone who wanted to Geocaching and what the perceived issues are. Maybe there is more we as cachers could do...

 

The other reason for this intrusion, which I think people are hoping for, is that its kids. I don't think it is.

 

Anything any other members want to add?

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I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. I did, in fact mention some of the pros of geocaching, ie that my kids are now finding out much more about countries that they wouldn't have known about etc etc.

 

As you said, geocaching promotes healthy excercise and more interaction between families in the great outdoors rather than sat in front of the telly, pc, or whatever.

 

I am sure this nonsense will go away long before any of us geocachers do, but in the meantime I don't blame people for posting about how they feel and what they would like to do to the perps, me included.

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Just to add that some of us don't even use cars so the co2 issue is non existent, but I expect most of those pepole responsible use some form of personnel motorised contraption.

 

Geocaching is asupported by a number of organisations whose primary role is the preservation of their land by having formal aggrements with them e.g. the Forestry Commission and National Trust and we geocachers work with them in this aim.

 

And yes it does seem rather narrow minded with disregard to the bigger picrure.

Edited by Hampshire_Hog
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Just to add that some of us don't even use cars so the co2 issue is non existent, but I expect most of those pepole responsible use some form of personnel motorised contraption.

 

Geocaching is asupported by a number of organisations whose primary role is the preservation of their land by having formal aggrements with them e.g. the Forestry Commission and National Trust and we geocachers work with them in this aim.

 

And yes it does seem rather narrow minded with disregard to the bigger picrure.

 

I cache entirely using my legs and public transport.

 

Yup - single-issue groups are usually pretty crap at seeing the bigger picture, which makes me despair a little. As part of the bigger picture, caching is almost certainly overwhelmingly positive - but I can see how it looks. However, it's not a new activity if you consider letterboxing and treasure-hunting of various kinds, which have been around for years.

 

Lee

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Everyone seems to be accepting tthat the motives of the cache trasher are environmental. In my experience, people don't always tell the truth about their motives. The trasher might be doing it for the same reasons that people vandalise other things.

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I am planning a trip to Rugby this weekend, and was disappointed to see that some of the caches I would have liked to look for en route have been disabled. I don't usually post on this or any other discussion forum (because I find them so addictive!) but I did want to share a few thoughts on this problem, which will probably only get worse in the future with increased publicity about geocaching.

 

Firstly, I believe that the 'environmental' claim is utter nonsense. Anyone can see that geocaching done correctly has a minimal or beneficial effect on the environment. I would guess that these (not very highly-educated, judging by their grammar and spelling) people are using it as a peg on which to hang their petty vandalism. This is the sort of mentality that enjoys destroying things and spoiling other people's enjoyment - the same sort of mentality that led someone to snap off some newly-planted trees in our village high street recently.

 

So what do we do about it? The advice from geocaching.com to notify the police had me in stitches. I mean, can you imagine strolling into your local police station and saying you wanted to report the theft of a plastic lunchbox? :(

 

I think the most important thing is to KEEP REPLACING THE CACHES. Replace them with small, inexpensive containers, with low-value swaps, and warn people not to leave trackable items for the time being. It's not so much fun vandalising something that isn't very valuable, and I bet if these people have to keep going back to the same place, they will eventually lose interest. They want to see those caches wiped off the maps, so don't indulge them!

 

Another idea that someone has mentioned is to turn vulnerable caches into multis. It's dead easy for vandals to follow the co-ordinates straight to a nice big box of treasure, and my hunch is that they are less likely to go to the effort of following a trail.

 

My commiserations to everyone who has had their caches vandalised.

DON'T LET THESE TWITS WIN!!

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Mind you this has to be the most appauling thing ever: GCV7W8

 

I mean what kind of a person does that!!!! I have felt terrible when I heard, after all I was the last person to find it in tact.. I have often wondered if I didn't cover it up properly enough.

 

Tsiolkovsky

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Mind you this has to be the most appauling thing ever: GCV7W8
To quote from the online log, ' "Sorry I realy needed to go" was written as the last log in the book....' - Personally, I'd have avoided using the word log, given the context. Sadly this sort of thing has happened a few times; half the population is below average intelligence. :D
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After visiting the Lutterworth area at the weekend, was surprised to find that Launch Point was missing (done previously...seen all the hoohar....what's happening now, has it died down?

 

I would just keep putting them out...in cheap containers!

 

J

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I see they got their bit of publicity in country walking magazine as well

 

Yeah I saw that too...

 

Wonder how long it will be before there are copycat attacks in different parts of the country?

 

It is interesting though, that these people would actually log their attacks. Seems pretty pointless.

 

Tsiolkovsky

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I am sure most people are aware by now, but I have found that Tesco stores which have photographic developing services are more than happy to give out bags of empty 35mm film canisters.

 

Since losing two of my caches, I have taken to replacing with said containers and have also added the following text to my hints:

 

This cache is on a hit list from a bunch of vandals who keep destroying the caches in this area (see log for 8th April 2009). Therefore, if you cannot find the cache, please take a picture of your GPS in the position where the cache should be and email it to me. Log your find as though everything was normal. Hopefully these people will eventually have had so many wasted trips to a non-existent cache, that they will cease their activities.

I will replace the cache every so often to keep them guessing.

Your help is much appreciated.

 

I am sure that they will eventually tire of their "sport" and pick on some other poor group who are causing no harm to anyone.

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As Geocaching becomes more mainstream, this sadly is what we can increasingly expect.

 

It's also sad that there are a minority of people out there who thrive on disrupting the activities of others and then sitting back and watching the reaction and consequenses of their meddling.

 

I've seen this happen personally before to some of my caches & TBs, and this is what I think is happening here - these (or more often it's just a twisted individual's action) aren't doing this for the environment, or whatever cause they purpote to be doing it for - they're doing it purely for the kick of seeing other people reeling from their actions.

 

Just stop discussing it in public forums. That's where they get their kicks.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin
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