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Ever found evidence of a crime?


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I stopped for a cache this morning in a park with a mostly-wooded hill, and found a backpack lying in the woods maybe 20' from the cache. At first I thought that it was a homeless person camping out (that's been happening more and more lately), but the backpack was new and nice. Then I thought maybe another geocacher or someone had set it down, so I walked around and looked for evidence of someone else nearby. Nobody. So I unzipped the main compartment and saw the laptop and some books and other electronics and stuff. I pulled out a piece of paper and left a note, saying essentially that if someone had left something valuable, call me and describe it, with my first name and cell number, and pinned it to a piece of buckthorn via the thorns. Then I picked up the backpack and took it with me, expecting to find some sort of identifying info and call the owner. I realized on the way home that I should have left it and called the police... DUH!

 

Anyway, it wasn't just (potentially) a stolen backpack (still undetermined). There were four vehicle GPS units inside, and the two that I looked at each had different addresses set to Home. As the Deputy that came to retrieve the bag and get the report said, the owner (apparently a college student, according to the papers inside the bag) is either a victim or a suspect. Aside from the obvious dumb move of removing it from the scene and touching everything, an interesting and unexpected experience!

 

So has anyone else ever run across a cime scene, evidence of a crime, a crime in progress, stolen property, etc? What are your best stories?

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I stopped for a cache this morning in a park with a mostly-wooded hill, and found a backpack lying in the woods maybe 20' from the cache. At first I thought that it was a homeless person camping out (that's been happening more and more lately), but the backpack was new and nice. Then I thought maybe another geocacher or someone had set it down, so I walked around and looked for evidence of someone else nearby. Nobody. So I unzipped the main compartment and saw the laptop and some books and other electronics and stuff. I pulled out a piece of paper and left a note, saying essentially that if someone had left something valuable, call me and describe it, with my first name and cell number, and pinned it to a piece of buckthorn via the thorns. Then I picked up the backpack and took it with me, expecting to find some sort of identifying info and call the owner. I realized on the way home that I should have left it and called the police... DUH!

 

Anyway, it wasn't just (potentially) a stolen backpack (still undetermined). There were four vehicle GPS units inside, and the two that I looked at each had different addresses set to Home. As the Deputy that came to retrieve the bag and get the report said, the owner (apparently a college student, according to the papers inside the bag) is either a victim or a suspect. Aside from the obvious dumb move of removing it from the scene and touching everything, an interesting and unexpected experience!

 

So has anyone else ever run across a cime scene, evidence of a crime, a crime in progress, stolen property, etc? What are your best stories?

 

I find evidence of a crime frequently at GZ areas. Mostly it's vandalism. Of course it has been pointed out to me that since I can't prove geocachers are responsible for the vandalism, etc...

 

What you may not have considered, but has happened to me, is you might have stumbled upon a hiding place for a criminal who was being chased. Sometimes they will drop their stash and come back for it later. In that case, you left your contact info with a thief. Scary, isn't it?

 

Though I have never found evidence other than vandalism while geocaching, one time I did find the backpack of whomever had broken into the shop where I worked. Like you, I brought the pack back to my work and called the police. It didn't do any good. The police weren't really interested in the pack at all.

 

What is a better question is has anyone had a crime solved that was solved because of geocaching.

 

************************

 

On a separate note, recently near me there were some hikers that stumbled upon a human skull 20 yards below an old wrecked truck. That is something I hope to not come across while geocaching.

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A body was found near one of my caches once.....

 

Went to find this one, quite a bit of water and snow. Decided to attack from the cemetary side . . . found dead body - above ground. After giving our statement to the police they said we could go and search for the cache. Due to victim still in car we decided we might try it later.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...a6-2a02371b7d9b

Edited by StarBrand
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What you may not have considered, but has happened to me, is you might have stumbled upon a hiding place for a criminal who was being chased. Sometimes they will drop their stash and come back for it later. In that case, you left your contact info with a thief. Scary, isn't it?

 

Yes that is scary actually.A very good point indeed and a reminder of how carefull you have to be even trying to do the right thing

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I have a cache hidden near the bottom of Thomas Creek Bridge, the "tallest bridge in Oregon". It doesn't get visited much but one time while another local cacher was taking his grandson and a friend for a little adventure they discovered the body of a young woman who had been murdered elsewhere and subsequently dumped over the bridge by the killer. Needless to say, he and the kids never did go on to find the cache, they beat it post haste to report their findings to the authorities.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...4c-b1ff332bf64f

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A log of mine on a cache near the entry to a large state forest, "Near the cache I saw 3 newly stolen and pilfered Tampa Tribune newspaper boxes; their money boxes all bashed in.

I reported the boxes to the sheriff's substation on my way out."

 

When I stopped at the substation, I was told that the newspaper box at the front of their building had disappeared! pretty slick (sick?) picking up the box right at the sheriff's station.

 

I continued to see newspaper boxes along that stretch of forest for weeks. I don't know if they caught the thief.

 

Countless corpses of poached does, deer out of season, gophers (a land tortoise, protected), and other poached game. I finally started regularly carrying my cell phone so I can call the regulatory agency about corn feeders in the forest, set by those who like to hunt over bait.

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Last year, a caching buddy and I came upon a smoldering "camp fire" in the Trinity River bottoms. A big roll of wire was smoldering in the coals, having the insulation burned off. The hair on our necks pretty much stood on end as we looked around us in the woods to try to determine whether we were being watched. Being good Texans, both of us were armed, but.... you don't wanna have to prove it. I marked the spot on my GPSr and went to the local cop shop and showed it to a detective on Google Earth. They checked it out but to my knowledge never caught the wire thieves.

 

I stopped for a cache this morning in a park with a mostly-wooded hill, and found a backpack lying in the woods maybe 20' from the cache. At first I thought that it was a homeless person camping out (that's been happening more and more lately), but the backpack was new and nice. Then I thought maybe another geocacher or someone had set it down, so I walked around and looked for evidence of someone else nearby. Nobody. So I unzipped the main compartment and saw the laptop and some books and other electronics and stuff. I pulled out a piece of paper and left a note, saying essentially that if someone had left something valuable, call me and describe it, with my first name and cell number, and pinned it to a piece of buckthorn via the thorns. Then I picked up the backpack and took it with me, expecting to find some sort of identifying info and call the owner. I realized on the way home that I should have left it and called the police... DUH!

 

Anyway, it wasn't just (potentially) a stolen backpack (still undetermined). There were four vehicle GPS units inside, and the two that I looked at each had different addresses set to Home. As the Deputy that came to retrieve the bag and get the report said, the owner (apparently a college student, according to the papers inside the bag) is either a victim or a suspect. Aside from the obvious dumb move of removing it from the scene and touching everything, an interesting and unexpected experience!

 

So has anyone else ever run across a cime scene, evidence of a crime, a crime in progress, stolen property, etc? What are your best stories?

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I'm not sure. I recently found a key holder with a key hidden in a stump about 100 ft or so from a cache. Would you jump to the conclusion that someone was using it for anytime access to someone's home or that it was part of a multi cache for geocaching.com or some other site? Others who have found the nearby cache have talked about being yelled at by a homeless person that used to camp in the area. It's in a park. I wrote down the coordinates but not sure where they ended up in the midst of all my notes.

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I thought about my contact info, but I've decided that since this small sled hill and park is surrounded by a neighborhood, it's probably a local teen that didn't want to get caught with the bag. Still, I'm glad that it only had my first name and work cell.

 

I also wondered what I'd say if they called. High on my list was messing with the person...

 

"dude! You are so busted! I saw the gpses, and I called the cops, and now they have the bag and they're dusting it for fingerprints! Oh, man, I'd hate to be you when your parents open the door and it's a cop looking for you!" :D

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I have found two grow ops and a stash of marijuana.

 

Hadn't even thought about growers. I find personal use patches all the time. Only once was there a more substantial operation near a cache I was searching for and the local Sheriffs had already got their hands on that. Nothing left but the mess.

 

50 plants is probably not personal use. :D

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I have found two grow ops and a stash of marijuana.

 

Hadn't even thought about growers. I find personal use patches all the time. Only once was there a more substantial operation near a cache I was searching for and the local Sheriffs had already got their hands on that. Nothing left but the mess.

 

50 plants is probably not personal use. :D

 

Most likely not. Three to five plants are probably recreational and the type of operation I usually find when I stumble on a patch.

 

What surprises me most is how often these things are only a few feet from busy public trails.

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Not geocaching but hunting I found a pile of beautiful obviously very old and expensive swords, elaborately engraved and in bejeweled scabbards... maybe thirty of them. This was before I knew anything about Freemasonry so I had no idea what they were. I took one to the local police station and it turned out that these were ceremonial dress swords recently stolen from a Shrine Temple nearby.

 

A geocacher in another state did share such an incident with me, however. He found a stack of papers in boxes in the woods near a military base. They were the internal supposedly-secure documents for an upcoming murder court-martial which had been stolen from the base. He was afraid to return to the scene to get coordinates, didn't want to get involved, and we discussed how or whether to file some kind of anonymous report. He wouldn't share the exact location or I would have made the report from here and kept him out of it. In the end I don't think he ever did anything about it. I hope a murderer didn't get off because all of the court documentation and evidence was stolen! :D

 

 

Edit to add: I can hear it now, a knocking at my front door... "Hello, we're with Army CID, we'd like to talk to you about a post you made on the internet..." :laughing:

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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Thankfully I haven't (yet!), but I did get an interesting post on one of my more remote hides once. Somebody had visited the cache from out of state and came across a meth lab on the way. Their log talked about a really interesting abandoned "campsite" that they found near the cache, but their pictures showed all of the obvious warning signs: copper tubing, a random assortment of corroded pots and pans, a dozen or so discarded propane bottles, and even a pink-stained bathtub! (the pink comes from dyes in the medicines used in one of the stages of production)

 

I sent them an email explaining what they most likely had found and warning them to be careful poking around since the county was infamous for such labs. I even included a few links to websites by various sheriff's departments explaining what to watch for... these labs are highly dangerous because, for one, the waste byproducts are incredibly toxic and are often dumped right at the site. I was shocked when they completely blew me off! :D In their reply they insisted that they had just found an innocent campsite and obviously not a meth lab... after all it was just a bunch of discarded camping gear. Um... yeah... you mean camping gear like aerosol cans and a bathtub?

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Not long before I started geocaching, my family and I were out hiking on a popular trail in Pa. When we were coming back down the mountain I noticed a couple people about 150 yards down the trail. As I tried to figure out what I was looking at, 3 men looked up the hill at me and started running in 3 different directions. Once they took off, I noticed another man leaning against a fallen tree with no shirt and his pants around his ankles. He too, ran after putting his clothes on in an extremely fast manner. Luckily, I was in the front of the pack and the kids never seen a thing. After telling this story to a neighbor, I was informed that the trail is a hot spot for gay people. It was on the local news apparently. I guess I missed that episode. :D

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I have found two grow ops and a stash of marijuana.

 

Hadn't even thought about growers. I find personal use patches all the time. Only once was there a more substantial operation near a cache I was searching for and the local Sheriffs had already got their hands on that. Nothing left but the mess.

 

50 plants is probably not personal use. :D

 

Most likely not. Three to five plants are probably recreational and the type of operation I usually find when I stumble on a patch.

 

What surprises me most is how often these things are only a few feet from busy public trails.

 

The 50 plant op was well put together. The guy had built a garden out of 4x4's, filled it with top soil and had fertilizer nearby. The OPP had their chopper in the area and they did a low level fly over but there were no other "gardens". It was about 100 meters from the road. The ERT officer pulled the plants and took them out to the road to a cruiser. He said the street value was about $1,000 per plant.

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I have found two grow ops and a stash of marijuana.

 

Hadn't even thought about growers. I find personal use patches all the time. Only once was there a more substantial operation near a cache I was searching for and the local Sheriffs had already got their hands on that. Nothing left but the mess.

 

50 plants is probably not personal use. :D

 

Most likely not. Three to five plants are probably recreational and the type of operation I usually find when I stumble on a patch.

 

What surprises me most is how often these things are only a few feet from busy public trails.

 

The 50 plant op was well put together. The guy had built a garden out of 4x4's, filled it with top soil and had fertilizer nearby. The OPP had their chopper in the area and they did a low level fly over but there were no other "gardens". It was about 100 meters from the road. The ERT officer pulled the plants and took them out to the road to a cruiser. He said the street value was about $1,000 per plant.

Kinda makes you wonder if you could have sold it yourself, don't it?

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I have found two grow ops and a stash of marijuana.

 

Hadn't even thought about growers. I find personal use patches all the time. Only once was there a more substantial operation near a cache I was searching for and the local Sheriffs had already got their hands on that. Nothing left but the mess.

 

50 plants is probably not personal use. :laughing:

 

Most likely not. Three to five plants are probably recreational and the type of operation I usually find when I stumble on a patch.

 

What surprises me most is how often these things are only a few feet from busy public trails.

 

The 50 plant op was well put together. The guy had built a garden out of 4x4's, filled it with top soil and had fertilizer nearby. The OPP had their chopper in the area and they did a low level fly over but there were no other "gardens". It was about 100 meters from the road. The ERT officer pulled the plants and took them out to the road to a cruiser. He said the street value was about $1,000 per plant.

Kinda makes you wonder if you could have sold it yourself, don't it?

$1,000 per plant? 50 plants?: Anyone finding such an unattended grow operation is encouraged to email the coordinates to TheAla... oh, maybe not. :D

 

The one time I did find pot while scouting for a possible cache hide site there were maybe a dozen plants about 8 to 10' tall. I left the area and as I did I had the feeling that either the cops had cameras in the trees or a grower had his rifle scope on my back... not a comfortable feeling!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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I personally haven't run across anything. But when you think about the principle, small containers hidden in nooks and cranies in towns or in the woods, away from heavy traffic, quiet, it's not surprising that people run across things. I mean ultimately geocachers are looking for a really good hiding place right?

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A couple of years ago we got some logs on one of our caches that mentioned a mess at the cache site. So we stopped by and found a backpack full of books and stuff that basically had been ripped apart and left at the scene, with tons of pages scattered everywhere. And library books destroyed. While gathering up the trashed stuff I found a Student ID card that came from a nearby High School. And another piece of paper with an home phone number on it.

 

We called and left a message at the phone number and then dropped the backpack off at the main office of the High School, explaining that we had found it and it's contents scattered near the Veteran's Cemetery and that the owner probably was looking for it.

 

The next day we got a really neat call from the student's parents- he is a SPED student and some other kids had taken his pack and destroyed it's contents as a cruel prank. The school had been planning on making them pay to replace all the books that were destroyed as there was no proof of the prank. But when we turned in the "proof" they stopped trying to get money from the family for the books.

 

J

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Just this morning, around 3AM, my friend and I were caching and came across a small duffel bag that looked pretty stolen. We determined it had been searched and dumped based on the condition it was in and the fact that it still had some ID in it (along with female undergarments).

 

We flagged down a cop and gave it to him in case there was something a little more to why the bag was where it was. He saud the area was prone to car prowls and that it was likely just stolen from someones car.

 

A crime nonetheless.

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Me!! See my log here

 

This cache was placed near a very large marijuana growing operation. I found the cache at the entrance of the canyon, and added information from finders of this cache. I contacted a member of my Dept's Marijuana Enforcement Team, and they checked the area with a helicopter. I shared their observation with the cache owner, and thankfully, he added the information to his cache page.

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While traveling and caching, came across scattered MJ plants in a state-maintained/manned rest/info area.

Had a nice nature trail all spruced up. Had Gummee stand near these tall weeds for a photo op. Later she wanted to know why I placed her in weeds that were 2 ft over her head!

 

The doghouse doors finally opened for my release a week later! :):blink:;)

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