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Bad Hide?


wheres_aldo
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When I was in Grand Rapids, MI last week there was an interesting item in the news on WOOD TV.

 

It seems that a utility worker found a cache hidden in the base of a light pole. Not knowing what it was and thinking the worst, he called the police who then sent out the bomb squad. The result was that a "whole lot of city employees" managed to entertain themselves for hours at tax payer expense. The story ended saying that police detectives were "looking for the culprit" implying that the cache owner would be liable for the cost of the entire operation. You have to wonder what kind of geniuses they hire under affirmative action but I am also concerned about what damage such geniuses could do to the sport.

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I think the person who put a cache under a lamppost skirt, probably on private property without permission, is the "genius" doing damage to the game, here....

 

I'd say it's fairly reasonable having never heard of geocaching to assume that some strange device under a lamppost might be there for less than innocent reasons. Not sure what you're trying to say with the "affirmative action" statement :P:D

Edited by ThirstyMick
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I've found this cache. It was actually one of the more well-placed LPCs I've seen or heard about. I think it's a bit unfair to assume the CO didn't get permission. An employee called the cops because he or she thought a cacher was acting suspicious around some cars. This person may not have been told about the cache or may not have put it together. Who knows.

 

Still :D at the affirmative action comment.

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I've found this cache. It was actually one of the more well-placed LPCs I've seen or heard about. I think it's a bit unfair to assume the CO didn't get permission. An employee called the cops because he or she thought a cacher was acting suspicious around some cars. This person may not have been told about the cache or may not have put it together. Who knows.

 

Still :D at the affirmative action comment.

 

This cache was actually the subject of another thread (which I don't feel like looking for :P) In which the cache owner even came here to the forums. I have no reason to believe permission was granted, either from the cache page, or the cache owners "explanation" here in the forums. Yes, I know they still blow up caches even if they have permission.

 

The OP's rant doesn't surprise me. Almost always when these situations happen, many locals will post notes to the cache pages cracking jokes about the situation, and blaming the authorities for over-reacting. Never do I see notes posted to such cache pages implying that the cache placers might be giving our game a bad name by placing items under parking lot lamp post skirts on private property.

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I've found this cache. It was actually one of the more well-placed LPCs I've seen or heard about. I think it's a bit unfair to assume the CO didn't get permission. An employee called the cops because he or she thought a cacher was acting suspicious around some cars. This person may not have been told about the cache or may not have put it together. Who knows.

 

Still :D at the affirmative action comment.

 

This cache was actually the subject of another thread (which I don't feel like looking for :P) In which the cache owner even came here to the forums. I have no reason to believe permission was granted, either from the cache page, or the cache owners "explanation" here in the forums. Yes, I know they still blow up caches even if they have permission.

 

The OP's rant doesn't surprise me. Almost always when these situations happen, many locals will post notes to the cache pages cracking jokes about the situation, and blaming the authorities for over-reacting. Never do I see notes posted to such cache pages implying that the cache placers might be giving our game a bad name by placing items under parking lot lamp post skirts on private property.

 

The police need to be educated about geaocaching.

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I've found this cache. It was actually one of the more well-placed LPCs I've seen or heard about. I think it's a bit unfair to assume the CO didn't get permission. An employee called the cops because he or she thought a cacher was acting suspicious around some cars. This person may not have been told about the cache or may not have put it together. Who knows.

 

Still :D at the affirmative action comment.

 

This cache was actually the subject of another thread (which I don't feel like looking for :P) In which the cache owner even came here to the forums. I have no reason to believe permission was granted, either from the cache page, or the cache owners "explanation" here in the forums. Yes, I know they still blow up caches even if they have permission.

 

The OP's rant doesn't surprise me. Almost always when these situations happen, many locals will post notes to the cache pages cracking jokes about the situation, and blaming the authorities for over-reacting. Never do I see notes posted to such cache pages implying that the cache placers might be giving our game a bad name by placing items under parking lot lamp post skirts on private property.

 

The police need to be educated about geaocaching.

 

I give up. :)

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You have to wonder what kind of geniuses they hire under affirmative action but I am also concerned about what damage such geniuses could do to the sport.

You aren't implying that minorities are stupid, are you?? Because it sounds like you are. :P

Whether intentional or not, that is exactly what the comment implied. This is all because of some stupid (insert racial slur here). :):D

 

Don't hang the hider out to dry. What % of caches do you think are without explicit permission. :P:blink:

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This cache was actually the subject of another thread (which I don't feel like looking for :P) In which the cache owner even came here to the forums. I have no reason to believe permission was granted, either from the cache page, or the cache owners "explanation" here in the forums. Yes, I know they still blow up caches even if they have permission.

 

I know. I posted in that thread too. :D

 

My point is that it's a bit unfair to assume the worst when we don't know for sure, especially when one considers that for a LPC, this particular cache was placed with care. It shows at least some level of conscientiousness.

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This cache was actually the subject of another thread (which I don't feel like looking for :)) In which the cache owner even came here to the forums. I have no reason to believe permission was granted, either from the cache page, or the cache owners "explanation" here in the forums. Yes, I know they still blow up caches even if they have permission.

 

I know. I posted in that thread too. :P

 

My point is that it's a bit unfair to assume the worst when we don't know for sure, especially when one considers that for a LPC, this particular cache was placed with care. It shows at least some level of conscientiousness.

 

No, (and this is addressed to Knight200 too) I'm not hanging this particular cache hider out to dry. They are in fact very conscientious (I hope you spelled that right, because I copied and pasted your text). I have to go now, I have to educate the police about Geocaching. :D

Edited by TheWhiteUrkel
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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

 

The day that police start billing for their services is the day we should all stop paying taxes.

 

Sorry, off topic...

 

On topic, the police have a very handy resource for checking to see if s cache is a cache is likely to not be a bomb. It's called "geocacing.com"

 

All they would need to do is look up caches in the area to see if one matches the location. Would alleviate a lot of angst.

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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

 

You can attack my comment if you please, but I KNOW of one person who was asked to pay for their bomb call! I believe we discussed it before?? The owner in question even came in and talked about it...

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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

 

The day that police start billing for their services is the day we should all stop paying taxes.

 

Sorry, off topic...

 

On topic, the police have a very handy resource for checking to see if s cache is a cache is likely to not be a bomb. It's called "geocacing.com"

 

All they would need to do is look up caches in the area to see if one matches the location. Would alleviate a lot of angst.

A lot of angst here]/i], maybe. It would cause a lot of angst for others when the police waste time checking this site and find it isn't a cache. Do we really want to force police agencies to add another step to their bomb threat procedure? That would get a lot of cache areas banned real fast.

Link to comment

I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

 

The day that police start billing for their services is the day we should all stop paying taxes.

 

Sorry, off topic...

 

On topic, the police have a very handy resource for checking to see if s cache is a cache is likely to not be a bomb. It's called "geocacing.com"

 

All they would need to do is look up caches in the area to see if one matches the location. Would alleviate a lot of angst.

A lot of angst here]/i], maybe. It would cause a lot of angst for others when the police waste time checking this site and find it isn't a cache. Do we really want to force police agencies to add another step to their bomb threat procedure? That would get a lot of cache areas banned real fast.

 

Adding a "TOOL" is more like it. Imagine being able to go to a website to check before you deploy the bomb squad. Yeah, its a real hassle. :D

If the police saw that the "bomb" has been listed and in place for months, or years, before they call out the BS, it could save countless dollars.

I am sure a constitutional challenge could be mounted for the legality to place a harmless container somewhere for a "friend" to find.

Start trying to ban geocaching as a whole and you will have about a million angry people.

Link to comment

I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

 

The day that police start billing for their services is the day we should all stop paying taxes.

 

Sorry, off topic...

 

On topic, the police have a very handy resource for checking to see if s cache is a cache is likely to not be a bomb. It's called "geocacing.com"

 

All they would need to do is look up caches in the area to see if one matches the location. Would alleviate a lot of angst.

I would just as soon the police make judgements in the field and continue to esplode caches as they seem fit. They just aught not to complain when they accidently blow up something that doesn't require it. We shouldn't complain about that either. It's a simple fact of life.
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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

 

The day that police start billing for their services is the day we should all stop paying taxes.

 

Sorry, off topic...

 

On topic, the police have a very handy resource for checking to see if s cache is a cache is likely to not be a bomb. It's called "geocacing.com"

 

All they would need to do is look up caches in the area to see if one matches the location. Would alleviate a lot of angst.

A lot of angst here]/i], maybe. It would cause a lot of angst for others when the police waste time checking this site and find it isn't a cache. Do we really want to force police agencies to add another step to their bomb threat procedure? That would get a lot of cache areas banned real fast.

 

Adding a "TOOL" is more like it. Imagine being able to go to a website to check before you deploy the bomb squad. Yeah, its a real hassle. :D

If the police saw that the "bomb" has been listed and in place for months, or years, before they call out the BS, it could save countless dollars.

I am sure a constitutional challenge could be mounted for the legality to place a harmless container somewhere for a "friend" to find.

Start trying to ban geocaching as a whole and you will have about a million angry people.

I wouldn't agree with it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

 

Anyway, I was careful not to imply a wholesale ban was likely. I said "a lot" of areas, thinking heavily populated areas and parking lots. Not every cacher would be upset about that, incidentally.

 

And it wouldn't have to go that far. How about police using the site to ticket litterers?

Edited by Dinoprophet
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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.
I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

You can attack my comment if you please, but I KNOW of one person who was asked to pay for their bomb call! I believe we discussed it before?? The owner in question even came in and talked about it...
I remember that thread, also. They asked him to pay and he agreed. Had he contested the charge, he likely would not have had to pay.
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I wouldn't agree with it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

 

Anyway, I was careful not to imply a wholesale ban was likely. I said "a lot" of areas, thinking heavily populated areas and parking lots. Not every cacher would be upset about that, incidentally.

 

And it wouldn't have to go that far. How about police using the site to ticket litterers?

 

I would love to see the police issue me a ticket for "littering". The officer would lose and a precedent would be set.

Geocaches are not litter based on one sound principle. Litter is garbage. Garbage is not actively pursued for recreational purposes. Geocaches are pursued for recreational purposes, and therefore have value, as placed. Anything of value, as placed, cannot be defined as litter.

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I wouldn't agree with it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

 

Anyway, I was careful not to imply a wholesale ban was likely. I said "a lot" of areas, thinking heavily populated areas and parking lots. Not every cacher would be upset about that, incidentally.

 

And it wouldn't have to go that far. How about police using the site to ticket litterers?

 

I would love to see the police issue me a ticket for "littering". The officer would lose and a precedent would be set.

Geocaches are not litter based on one sound principle. Litter is garbage. Garbage is not actively pursued for recreational purposes. Geocaches are pursued for recreational purposes, and therefore have value, as placed. Anything of value, as placed, cannot be defined as litter.

Maybe so. But calling this site a useful tool to bomb squads is like putting termites in someone's house and then offering to fumigate their house for free. The site is the source of the problem in the first place.

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Adding a "TOOL" is more like it. Imagine being able to go to a website to check before you deploy the bomb squad. Yeah, its a real hassle. :D

If the police saw that the "bomb" has been listed and in place for months, or years, before they call out the BS, it could save countless dollars.

I am sure a constitutional challenge could be mounted for the legality to place a harmless container somewhere for a "friend" to find.

Start trying to ban geocaching as a whole and you will have about a million angry people.

 

Where's ClanRiffster...?

 

Do you really think the (non-caching) police are going to look at this website and stake their lives and careers on the data they see?

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I wouldn't agree with it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

 

Anyway, I was careful not to imply a wholesale ban was likely. I said "a lot" of areas, thinking heavily populated areas and parking lots. Not every cacher would be upset about that, incidentally.

 

And it wouldn't have to go that far. How about police using the site to ticket litterers?

 

I would love to see the police issue me a ticket for "littering". The officer would lose and a precedent would be set.

Geocaches are not litter based on one sound principle. Litter is garbage. Garbage is not actively pursued for recreational purposes. Geocaches are pursued for recreational purposes, and therefore have value, as placed. Anything of value, as placed, cannot be defined as litter.

Maybe so. But calling this site a useful tool to bomb squads is like putting termites in someone's house and then offering to fumigate their house for free. The site is the source of the problem in the first place.

 

I understand that is the opinion of a lot of people, likely the same group that think the ban on shampoo on airplanes is a good idea.

Caches are NOT a problem for bomb squads. Ignorance is the problem. Enlightening the ignorant is NOT going to hurt the game but the ignorant who refuse to be enlightened WILL. In other words. If the police and the bomb squad perceive geocaching as a threat even after they know about it, then they are choosing to remain ignorant. Then they would attempt to ban geocaching in their respective area, stifling the populations constitutional right to pursue happiness, since geocaching makes geocachers happy.

 

I don't expect you to come around though, so it's all good.

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Adding a "TOOL" is more like it. Imagine being able to go to a website to check before you deploy the bomb squad. Yeah, its a real hassle. :D

If the police saw that the "bomb" has been listed and in place for months, or years, before they call out the BS, it could save countless dollars.

I am sure a constitutional challenge could be mounted for the legality to place a harmless container somewhere for a "friend" to find.

Start trying to ban geocaching as a whole and you will have about a million angry people.

 

Where's ClanRiffster...?

 

Do you really think the (non-caching) police are going to look at this website and stake their lives and careers on the data they see?

 

Stricly on the site data, probably not. But if they were as blind as some thing they are, they would be blowing up legitimate plumbing fixtures all over the place.

"OMG, there is a pipe on the side of that building. Let's blow it up!!"

 

"Um, thats their downspout, Sarge"

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I wouldn't agree with it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

 

Anyway, I was careful not to imply a wholesale ban was likely. I said "a lot" of areas, thinking heavily populated areas and parking lots. Not every cacher would be upset about that, incidentally.

 

And it wouldn't have to go that far. How about police using the site to ticket litterers?

 

I would love to see the police issue me a ticket for "littering". The officer would lose and a precedent would be set.

Geocaches are not litter based on one sound principle. Litter is garbage. Garbage is not actively pursued for recreational purposes. Geocaches are pursued for recreational purposes, and therefore have value, as placed. Anything of value, as placed, cannot be defined as litter.

Maybe so. But calling this site a useful tool to bomb squads is like putting termites in someone's house and then offering to fumigate their house for free. The site is the source of the problem in the first place.

 

I understand that is the opinion of a lot of people, likely the same group that think the ban on shampoo on airplanes is a good idea.

Caches are NOT a problem for bomb squads. Ignorance is the problem. Enlightening the ignorant is NOT going to hurt the game but the ignorant who refuse to be enlightened WILL. In other words. If the police and the bomb squad perceive geocaching as a threat even after they know about it, then they are choosing to remain ignorant. Then they would attempt to ban geocaching in their respective area, stifling the populations constitutional right to pursue happiness, since geocaching makes geocachers happy.

 

I don't expect you to come around though, so it's all good.

 

It's not the bomb squad's fault. Can Riffster has laid out a pretty clear path of escalation before. The choice to call in the squad is made pretty early in the process.

 

There are plenty of cases where a cop did find a cache and it was never exploded. Those don't make the news. You're painting law enforcement with a pretty wide brush.

 

Comparing geocaching to the liquids ban is like comparing apples to walruses.

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In this particular situation things might have gone better if the cache wasn't a container covered in camo tape. A lot of non-geocachers will see camouflage tape/coloring and make incorrect assumptions.

 

Though it's not always appropriate, a clear container is going to be blown up a lot less often.

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The site is the source of the problem in the first place.

The source of the problem is that these days we are told to report anything suspicious to the police. One might argue then that we stop doing anything that looks suspicious to the general public. But I'm not sure where you would draw the line. I've been caching in a remote wilderness area and have people question me as to why I went off the trail. (I can usually say that I went to pee and that satisfies them, but still it shows that people get suspicious about the most mundane things). I know of at least one ammo can that was removed from a trail at a local state park because it was found by hikers who thought an ammo can looked suspicious. The park allowed the cache owner to replace it with a tupperware container. Some comments here sound like people looking at ways to ban just the kinds of cache they don't like - but if you make these arguments you might as well be calling for banning all geocaches. Sure there are somethings that should already be done. Geocaches should not be place near likely terrorist targets - this already in the guidelines. Also in the guidelines:

... think carefully about how your container and the actions of geocachers will be perceived by the public. For example, a cache hidden in full view of office or apartment building windows exposes a geocacher to being seen by someone who may think the cache search looks suspicious. Your cache may be hidden on public property, but there may be concerned residents on the other side of that property line. And, while an ammo box or PVC pipe may be a great container if hidden deep in the woods, it may cause alarm if discovered in an urban setting. A clear plastic container or a microcache may be a better choice. In busy areas, avoid containers that look suspicious, including attachment materials like wires or tape. To reduce confusion and alarm when a cache is discovered accidentally, clearly label your container on the outside with appropriate information to say it is a geocache. Cover over any military markings with paint or a geocache sticker. Include an explanatory "stash note" inside your cache. Common sense in selecting hiding spots and containers can reduce the risk of your cache being perceived as a danger to those who are unaware of our sport.

The police are well aware that one of the dangers of asking people to report suspicious activity is that most of the time when they investigate it will turn out there is a perfectly good excuse for that activity. Very rarely is there terrorism or anything else nefarious going on. But the dangers of terrorism are big enough that they police are willing to investigate on the off chance that they might prevent a catastrophe. If someone sees someone acting strange in a parking lot and the police find an object hidden where that person was seen, they are likely to follow a protocol to minimize risk to life. Even when someone comes forward and says "That looks like it might be a geocache", the protocol may very well be for the bomb squad to "neutralize" the object.

 

Geocaching and geocaches left in urban settings are just one of many things that the general population may find suspicious and may report. While the number of these incidents has increased in recent years, they still account for a small percentage of cases of suspicious activity that the police investigate. We need to stay vigilant for the politician who might come forward and claim the geocaching is the source of the police wasting resources that would better be spent fighting terrorist. The police will be exploding suspicious packages whether they are geocaches or something else. Caches placed withing the guidelines should not get the blame for the decision that society has made to be cautious. Those that are not with the guidelines should be reported as needs archive or one could work with the cache owner to make the cache less likely to be the cause of a panic.

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When I was in Grand Rapids, MI last week there was an interesting item in the news on WOOD TV.

 

It seems that a utility worker found a cache hidden in the base of a light pole. Not knowing what it was and thinking the worst, he called the police who then sent out the bomb squad. The result was that a "whole lot of city employees" managed to entertain themselves for hours at tax payer expense. The story ended saying that police detectives were "looking for the culprit" implying that the cache owner would be liable for the cost of the entire operation. You have to wonder what kind of geniuses they hire under affirmative action but I am also concerned about what damage such geniuses could do to the sport.

 

Thats a typical reaction. Everone is doing the job they are paid to do at no extra expence to anyone and they find a harmless item, react in a panic, realize it's harmless after all then decide that they need to bill the person who intended no harm, caused no harm, for their own deicsions that actually didn't cost anyone extra because they are already paid to do their jobs.

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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.

Let's not walk that path lest I drop my cell phone and be billed for the cost of closing down LAX.

 

Where no harm is intended, there should be no bill.

We have a problem not because of ill placed caches, or because of bomb squads, we have a problem becasue there are actual folks who do place bombs. Because of playing it safe we have false alarms on all kinds of things. Not just caches. It's the cost of doing business in a world with wack jobs and terrorists. Nothing more. Folks should not forget that.

 

True they should pay some attention and try and head off the easy false alarms before they happen, but that takes training. Who's out there teaching us? I tried a class in cooperation with the State Police a few years ago. It wasn't that successful and needed retooled.

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I'm guessing that if enough cachers are billed for an incident, other cachers will start thinking differently when hiding a cache! Permission is a good thing and often easy to obtain.
I'm guessing that no such billing is necessary since the government employees are already paid to do their jobs.

 

Further, if your next door neighbor thinks that you are acting suspiciously and calls the police, should you be charged for the visit?

You can attack my comment if you please, but I KNOW of one person who was asked to pay for their bomb call! I believe we discussed it before?? The owner in question even came in and talked about it...
I remember that thread, also. They asked him to pay and he agreed. Had he contested the charge, he likely would not have had to pay.

Oh, so paying a lawyer is better than paying the bomb squad??

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We have a coin challenge going on in town, and one of them is near a municipal elevator. The elevator oporator saw someone poking around under the bush and saw an ammo can left behind. The cops were called and the official report was something like "officers located a geocache and tucked it further under the bushes for cover".

 

Funny stuff

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I understand that is the opinion of a lot of people, likely the same group that think the ban on shampoo on airplanes is a good idea.

Caches are NOT a problem for bomb squads. Ignorance is the problem. Enlightening the ignorant is NOT going to hurt the game but the ignorant who refuse to be enlightened WILL. In other words. If the police and the bomb squad perceive geocaching as a threat even after they know about it, then they are choosing to remain ignorant. Then they would attempt to ban geocaching in their respective area, stifling the populations constitutional right to pursue happiness, since geocaching makes geocachers happy.

 

I don't expect you to come around though, so it's all good.

I don't know what you think I need to "come around" to. I'm well versed in security theater and protecting against known but unlikely threats. No one was more outraged that the Aqua Teen Hunger Force clowns were being charged as though they intended to cause panic. Well, no one but the clowns themselves, I guess. I'm no fan of overzealous prosecution. But I don't do stupid things then act surprised when it blows up in my face.

 

The site is the source of the problem in the first place.

The source of the problem is that these days we are told to report anything suspicious to the police. One might argue then that we stop doing anything that looks suspicious to the general public. But I'm not sure where you would draw the line. I've been caching in a remote wilderness area and have people question me as to why I went off the trail. (I can usually say that I went to pee and that satisfies them, but still it shows that people get suspicious about the most mundane things). I know of at least one ammo can that was removed from a trail at a local state park because it was found by hikers who thought an ammo can looked suspicious. The park allowed the cache owner to replace it with a tupperware container. Some comments here sound like people looking at ways to ban just the kinds of cache they don't like - but if you make these arguments you might as well be calling for banning all geocaches. Sure there are somethings that should already be done. Geocaches should not be place near likely terrorist targets - this already in the guidelines. Also in the guidelines:

... think carefully about how your container and the actions of geocachers will be perceived by the public. For example, a cache hidden in full view of office or apartment building windows exposes a geocacher to being seen by someone who may think the cache search looks suspicious. Your cache may be hidden on public property, but there may be concerned residents on the other side of that property line. And, while an ammo box or PVC pipe may be a great container if hidden deep in the woods, it may cause alarm if discovered in an urban setting. A clear plastic container or a microcache may be a better choice. In busy areas, avoid containers that look suspicious, including attachment materials like wires or tape. To reduce confusion and alarm when a cache is discovered accidentally, clearly label your container on the outside with appropriate information to say it is a geocache. Cover over any military markings with paint or a geocache sticker. Include an explanatory "stash note" inside your cache. Common sense in selecting hiding spots and containers can reduce the risk of your cache being perceived as a danger to those who are unaware of our sport.

The police are well aware that one of the dangers of asking people to report suspicious activity is that most of the time when they investigate it will turn out there is a perfectly good excuse for that activity. Very rarely is there terrorism or anything else nefarious going on. But the dangers of terrorism are big enough that they police are willing to investigate on the off chance that they might prevent a catastrophe. If someone sees someone acting strange in a parking lot and the police find an object hidden where that person was seen, they are likely to follow a protocol to minimize risk to life. Even when someone comes forward and says "That looks like it might be a geocache", the protocol may very well be for the bomb squad to "neutralize" the object.

 

Geocaching and geocaches left in urban settings are just one of many things that the general population may find suspicious and may report. While the number of these incidents has increased in recent years, they still account for a small percentage of cases of suspicious activity that the police investigate. We need to stay vigilant for the politician who might come forward and claim the geocaching is the source of the police wasting resources that would better be spent fighting terrorist. The police will be exploding suspicious packages whether they are geocaches or something else. Caches placed withing the guidelines should not get the blame for the decision that society has made to be cautious. Those that are not with the guidelines should be reported as needs archive or one could work with the cache owner to make the cache less likely to be the cause of a panic.

I don't disagree with any of that. My issue is with the idea that the police should alter their behavior so our game pieces don't get blown up. Leave something lying around that may get mistaken for a bomb, don't be shocked if it does.

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I don't disagree with any of that. My issue is with the idea that the police should alter their behavior so our game pieces don't get blown up. Leave something lying around that may get mistaken for a bomb, don't be shocked if it does.

 

Maybe the bomb squad should just get a premium membership to Geocaching.com so they can have all kinds of targets to blow up. If a LPC micro could be mistaken for a bomb, then they all can. Right?

 

After they blow up all the caches, they can start blowing up other "containers" they happen to find laying around. Afterall, if they really think a LPC micro holds a devious and harmful "bomb" then so can all the discarded Starbucks cups all along the freeways and such.

 

I say we should report all suspicious "containers" we see, no matter where they are.

 

 

:D

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Where's ClanRiffster...?

I'm here, Boss! Shakin' that bush, Boss! :D

 

Caches are NOT a problem for bomb squads. Ignorance is the problem.

Couldn't agree more. Public hysteria, (symptomatic of unaddressed ignorance), has done more harm to this nation than all the terrorists combined. One of the stated missions for The Bad Guys was for us to be living in fear. In that aspect, they've already won. They could go back to their homes, plop into their recliners and sip mint juleps till they passed away of natural causes and still pat themselves on their collective backs for their success.

 

For the record, in the past two and a half decades doing this job, I've responded to a few gazillion reported suspicious objects. Of those, one warranted a higher level of response than I could give. It went "Boom". The rest were determined to not be suspicious, by me. Some of these objects were kinda odd, to me, as I had never encountered them, but with a couple phone calls to folks I know, I was able to make a decision. If I did not know about this game, and found an object labelled "GEOCACHE", you can bet I would Google that term in an attempt to figure out what the heck this thing was. Would the search results dictate my response? No, but it would give me more data to ponder. As a street level cop, I will use whatever tools are available to me to resolve an incident without causing further burden to the tax payers.

 

I don't know enough about the cache in question to judge it, but based on the single photo presented, I would say that hiding something bigger than a micro, with no identifying labels, covered in camo duct tape, under a lamp post kilt could raise red flags with the average soccer mom. If these concerns are valid for this cache, (no real way to tell from the picture), then perhaps the hider used poor judgement.

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The Bomb Squads are doing their job. It is better to blow up a harmless box of toys and paper than not blow up something that could do damage to property or people. Once they are called in, unless it is truly obvious that the item in question is not a bomb (and a camouflaged, tube-shaped item certainly looks like one), they will destroy it.

 

When the media bombards the public dailies with nothing but the worst, they come to expect nothing but.

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The Bomb Squads are doing their job. It is better to blow up a harmless box of toys and paper than not blow up something that could do damage to property or people. Once they are called in, unless it is truly obvious that the item in question is not a bomb (and a camouflaged, tube-shaped item certainly looks like one), they will destroy it.

 

When the media bombards the public dailies with nothing but the worst, they come to expect nothing but.

 

It's sort of funny (not in a humorous way but in an odd way) that I never, ever, hear of a bomb squad blowing anything up that was even close to resembling a camo'd tue shaped object. Tube shaped, yes. Caom'd, no.

 

If it's a camo'd "bomb" then it's camo'd as a backpack or a brown paper wrapped package.

 

In all reality, geocaches are less suspicious looking than most "real" bombs.

 

And I continue to say, a bomb would never be a LPC micro. What would be the point in putting a firecracker in the middle of a parking lot?

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And I continue to say, a bomb would never be a LPC micro. What would be the point in putting a firecracker in the middle of a parking lot?

 

Oh, I agree.

 

But can a non-geocaching bomb squad afford such an assumption?

 

Well maybe it's time to ban all lamp post skirts. (Not the LPCs but the actual skirts)

 

Problem solved. No skirts, no places to hid "bombs". And all those who hate LPCs would be happy too.

 

:D

Edited by bittsen
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The Bomb Squads are doing their job. It is better to blow up a harmless box of toys and paper than not blow up something that could do damage to property or people.

 

Well said...

 

But consider this - and I'm at least partly serious here - the Bomb Squad and other LEO's involved in this type of situation are most likely having a blast (hehe). I mean seriously. They have trained for these types of situations. They are professionals. . . and I would imagine that much like the weather guy (or gal) that gets all worked up over that super cell crossing the viewing area (that's very unlikely to do any real damage), the LEO's are most likely glad to have something to do. I know, I know, there are exceptions where a busy department in a busy area could be pulled away from a more important task - so I'm not legitimizing LPC's or other hides that aren't properly marked - I'm just sayin'... Blowing stuff up is fun - and I doubt it matters if it's a plastic tub of trinkets or a legitimate pipe bomb.

 

I'll add that I've done 1 parking lot cache, one multi-cache that started in a parking lot and turned out only had a 2nd stage in the same parking lot. And I've done one LPC. I don't need to do any more of any of these types of caches again - nothing exciting about them for me.

 

I'll leave them for those that enjoy finding them, investigating them or blowing them up.

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The Bomb Squads are doing their job. It is better to blow up a harmless box of toys and paper than not blow up something that could do damage to property or people.

 

Well said...

 

But consider this - and I'm at least partly serious here - the Bomb Squad and other LEO's involved in this type of situation are most likely having a blast (hehe). I mean seriously. They have trained for these types of situations. They are professionals. . . and I would imagine that much like the weather guy (or gal) that gets all worked up over that super cell crossing the viewing area (that's very unlikely to do any real damage), the LEO's are most likely glad to have something to do. I know, I know, there are exceptions where a busy department in a busy area could be pulled away from a more important task - so I'm not legitimizing LPC's or other hides that aren't properly marked - I'm just sayin'... Blowing stuff up is fun - and I doubt it matters if it's a plastic tub of trinkets or a legitimate pipe bomb.

 

I'll add that I've done 1 parking lot cache, one multi-cache that started in a parking lot and turned out only had a 2nd stage in the same parking lot. And I've done one LPC. I don't need to do any more of any of these types of caches again - nothing exciting about them for me.

 

I'll leave them for those that enjoy finding them, investigating them or blowing them up.

And beyond that, it's probably good practice. For these reasons, even if you did convince a police force to check this site first, they're probably going to blow it up real good anyway. I doubt any of these guys think they're stopping the next 9/11. At best they're preventing some goofball kid's home science experiment from hurting someone. Still worth doing.

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