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GOF and Bacall

Cache maggot arrested.

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I hate to go off topic but consider the following:

 

- Who pays for case research?

 

>> I am certain the county attorneys/DAs have a flat-rate account from Lexis or Westlaw.

 

- Who pays for document filing and processing?

 

>> Government entities are almost always exempt from filing costs in court. Certainly DA/County Attorneys are. As for processing, if it weren't this case, it would be something else. This is a fairly fixed cost.

 

- The time could be used on more meaningful cases, for both the county and the court system.

 

>> So instead of this, they could prosecute an extra shoplifting case? I'm not sure that has much marginal effect.

 

- There are a zillion things I can list that fall OUTSIDE of a county attorney's salary that you and me are paying for.

 

>> But those things would be used for some other case. Whether a marginal petty larceny is better prosecuted under some other case is a fine argument, but that the County allocates a few thousand dollars to this (as opposed to something else) doesn't have much effect on the bottom line of the prosecutors budget.

Who pays the overtime for the cop that has to be on the job to cover for the cop that is hanging out in court to testify about a stolen piece of tupperware? If they don't pay someone to cover for this guy, what about the lost ticket revenue (and public safety issues) caused by that cop not being on the street?

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Were any of the caches stolen PM Only caches?

In other words, does he have a premium account?

Edited by zoltig

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removing contact information here. Let's be nice)

Edited by Jeremy

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I wonder if an enterprising prosecutor could get enough cache owners in the area who had their caches stolen to press charges, then get a warrant to search the guy's house.

They could start with the caches in the car. If the owners put identifying data on or in them such as GC numbers, cache names or contact information. That would give them a list of potential victims. It might also give them a timeline to work with. If the investigation revealed that he was in possession of numerous caches, stolen over an extensive period, a Judge might issue a search warrant for the residence.

I'm not so sure.

 

As I read the article and other posts, he was arrested coming out of the woods. The stolen item was found in his possession. He was then transported to the police station to be processed.

 

I'm not seeing probable cause to search his car. I have little doubt that most any criminal attorney could have that evidence thrown out.

 

This leaves a person retrieving a cache and then running into the woods when approached by private citizens. If that person were to testify that he was not stealing the cache, but protecting the game peice against the approaching muggles, how could he be convicted of anything? Alternatively, he could at that point state that he found what he thought was junk and was removing it to throw it away. Either way, without the evidence from the car, he couldn't be tied to the game, more less to any other stolen caches.

 

I suspect that this case will either be dropped or end in an ACD. Either way, I don't see it affecting his employment or his clearance.

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I hate to go off topic but consider the following:

 

- Who pays for case research?

 

>> I am certain the county attorneys/DAs have a flat-rate account from Lexis or Westlaw.

 

- Who pays for document filing and processing?

 

>> Government entities are almost always exempt from filing costs in court. Certainly DA/County Attorneys are. As for processing, if it weren't this case, it would be something else. This is a fairly fixed cost.

 

- The time could be used on more meaningful cases, for both the county and the court system.

 

>> So instead of this, they could prosecute an extra shoplifting case? I'm not sure that has much marginal effect.

 

- There are a zillion things I can list that fall OUTSIDE of a county attorney's salary that you and me are paying for.

 

>> But those things would be used for some other case. Whether a marginal petty larceny is better prosecuted under some other case is a fine argument, but that the County allocates a few thousand dollars to this (as opposed to something else) doesn't have much effect on the bottom line of the prosecutors budget.

Who pays the overtime for the cop that has to be on the job to cover for the cop that is hanging out in court to testify about a stolen piece of tupperware? If they don't pay someone to cover for this guy, what about the lost ticket revenue (and public safety issues) caused by that cop not being on the street?

 

Apparently neither of you have heard of the Broken Windows Theory.

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Cache maggots suck. But arrested and prosecuted? We have stooped (almost) as low as the maggot.

 

I thought cachers were supposed to be kind, loving and forgiving? Oops.. in these forums, what was I thinking.

 

WE didn't arrest him, the police did. Prosecution is up to the state, it's not our call. It may or may not happen. As far as being forgiving, forgive some teenager who stole a cache or two to get his jollies, sure. Forgive a guy who may be the person who has dedicated his life to destroying our sport in the region? Sure, we can forgive him too, but please allow us to take delight in any inconveniences that his actions will bring upon him.

 

I certainly should have emphasized my real point more clearly.. the kind and forgiving was more or less just rabble rousing. The prosecution being a waste was my real point. And good, bad, or indifferent, anyone thinking that prosecution is free outside of salaries paid to staff surely have not thought it out completely.

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

Well yeah. The Google stalking ooops, I mean "internet research" has begun. :unsure: I found this where he traveled to a 1,000 mile Canoe race on the Yukon River in July, 2009.

 

Yukon voyageurs profile

Edited by Jeremy

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

Sorry, I feel this is a bad posting. Disagree with what the (alleged) maggot did, or not.

 

Tantamount to tarring and feathering prior to conviction.

 

Don't get me wrong... I hope he is convicted (of something) and placed on public display.

 

Witch hunt, anyone?

Edited by Jeremy

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

Please don't e-mail or call this guy. A NY geocacher from the affected area has opened a dialogue with the guy and judging from his responses he seems contrite.

Edited by mtn-man

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I hate to go off topic but consider the following:

 

- Who pays for case research?

 

>> I am certain the county attorneys/DAs have a flat-rate account from Lexis or Westlaw.

 

- Who pays for document filing and processing?

 

>> Government entities are almost always exempt from filing costs in court. Certainly DA/County Attorneys are. As for processing, if it weren't this case, it would be something else. This is a fairly fixed cost.

 

- The time could be used on more meaningful cases, for both the county and the court system.

 

>> So instead of this, they could prosecute an extra shoplifting case? I'm not sure that has much marginal effect.

 

- There are a zillion things I can list that fall OUTSIDE of a county attorney's salary that you and me are paying for.

 

>> But those things would be used for some other case. Whether a marginal petty larceny is better prosecuted under some other case is a fine argument, but that the County allocates a few thousand dollars to this (as opposed to something else) doesn't have much effect on the bottom line of the prosecutors budget.

Who pays the overtime for the cop that has to be on the job to cover for the cop that is hanging out in court to testify about a stolen piece of tupperware? If they don't pay someone to cover for this guy, what about the lost ticket revenue (and public safety issues) caused by that cop not being on the street?

 

Apparently neither of you have heard of the Broken Windows Theory.

:unsure: Edited by sbell111

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Were any of the caches stolen PM Only caches?

In other words, does he have a premium account?

 

Yes, I'm quite certain he had a premium account, and people tried the Members Only Cache route years ago. He also solved puzzles, and brought bolt cutters to cut chains on chained-up caches.

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

Sorry, I feel this is a bad posting. Disagree with what the (alleged) maggot did, or not.

 

Tantamount to tarring and feathering prior to conviction.

 

Don't get me wrong... I hope he is convicted (of something) and placed on public display.

 

Witch hunt, anyone?

 

It is public information, easily accesible. His info went public when he got arrested.

 

[Fine, but don't post it here - Jeremy)

Edited by Jeremy

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

<Contact info deleted>

 

Please don't e-mail or call this guy. A NY geocacher from the affected area has opened a dialogue with the guy.

How stupid would he be to have any communication regarding this issue?

Edited by sbell111

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

 

Please don't e-mail or call this guy. A NY geocacher from the affected area has opened a dialogue with the guy.

 

Yes, I found that too, but never would have posted it. However, I believe whether that was posted or not, he would have received nasty emails and/or phone calls from Geocachers. Even from lurkers who never post to the forums.

 

Don't do it, bad, bad idea.

Edited by Jeremy

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

 

Please don't e-mail or call this guy. A NY geocacher from the affected area has opened a dialogue with the guy and judging from his responses he seems contrite.

 

After seven years of stealing caches, he now "feels bad" about it? He only feels badly because he got caught.

Edited by Jeremy

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I wonder if an enterprising prosecutor could get enough cache owners in the area who had their caches stolen to press charges, then get a warrant to search the guy's house.

They could start with the caches in the car. If the owners put identifying data on or in them such as GC numbers, cache names or contact information. That would give them a list of potential victims. It might also give them a timeline to work with. If the investigation revealed that he was in possession of numerous caches, stolen over an extensive period, a Judge might issue a search warrant for the residence.

I'm not so sure.

 

As I read the article and other posts, he was arrested coming out of the woods. The stolen item was found in his possession. He was then transported to the police station to be processed.

 

I'm not seeing probable cause to search his car. I have little doubt that most any criminal attorney could have that evidence thrown out.

 

This leaves a person retrieving a cache and then running into the woods when approached by private citizens. If that person were to testify that he was not stealing the cache, but protecting the game peice against the approaching muggles, how could he be convicted of anything? Alternatively, he could at that point state that he found what he thought was junk and was removing it to throw it away. Either way, without the evidence from the car, he couldn't be tied to the game, more less to any other stolen caches.

 

I suspect that this case will either be dropped or end in an ACD. Either way, I don't see it affecting his employment or his clearance.

 

What if consented to the search of his vehicle? Lots of people consent to the search of their vehicle even when they know they have 3 pounds of drugs in the car. You would be amazed. If he had the items in his possesion and more in his vehicle it certainly would show intent. The theory of "I found something in the woods and got arrested for it" would hold no weight whatsoever. The fact he had the coordinates would show he intended to take what was not his. Either way this is a misdemeanor offense and costs next to nothing to prosecute. The DA will be in court hearing everything from speeding tickets to spitting on the sidewalk anyway.

 

If geocaching thievery is going to have case-law made, this seems as good a case as any to get it on.

 

JMHO

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You can find a lot about someone when you "Google" their name:

 

(removed)

 

 

Please don't e-mail or call this guy. A NY geocacher from the affected area has opened a dialogue with the guy and judging from his responses he seems contrite.

 

After seven years of stealing caches, he now "feels bad" about it? He only feels badly because he got caught.

 

Whether he is genuinely contrite or just acting remains to be seen. However let the locals handle it. Any piling on may be counterproductive.

Edited by Jeremy

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The story was told to me by the person who called the police. I just don't feel comfortable naming that person without talking to them first.

 

Uhmmm... you do realize that her name is in the article quoted in post number 1?

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I wonder if an enterprising prosecutor could get enough cache owners in the area who had their caches stolen to press charges, then get a warrant to search the guy's house.
They could start with the caches in the car. If the owners put identifying data on or in them such as GC numbers, cache names or contact information. That would give them a list of potential victims. It might also give them a timeline to work with. If the investigation revealed that he was in possession of numerous caches, stolen over an extensive period, a Judge might issue a search warrant for the residence.
I'm not so sure.

 

As I read the article and other posts, he was arrested coming out of the woods. The stolen item was found in his possession. He was then transported to the police station to be processed.

 

I'm not seeing probable cause to search his car. I have little doubt that most any criminal attorney could have that evidence thrown out.

 

This leaves a person retrieving a cache and then running into the woods when approached by private citizens. If that person were to testify that he was not stealing the cache, but protecting the game peice against the approaching muggles, how could he be convicted of anything? Alternatively, he could at that point state that he found what he thought was junk and was removing it to throw it away. Either way, without the evidence from the car, he couldn't be tied to the game, more less to any other stolen caches.

 

I suspect that this case will either be dropped or end in an ACD. Either way, I don't see it affecting his employment or his clearance.

What if consented to the search of his vehicle? Lots of people consent to the search of their vehicle even when they know they have 3 pounds of drugs in the car. You would be amazed. If he had the items in his possesion and more in his vehicle it certainly would show intent. The theory of "I found something in the woods and got arrested for it" would hold no weight whatsoever. The fact he had the coordinates would show he intended to take what was not his.
Correct. On the off chance that he would have actually consented to this search, the evidence would be damning if his lawyer couldn't still get the evidence tossed. However, is it really likely that he was asked and consented to a search, knowing the the items were in there?
Either way this is a misdemeanor offense and costs next to nothing to prosecute. The DA will be in court hearing everything from speeding tickets to spitting on the sidewalk anyway.
According to NY law (§340.40(2)), he would have the right to a jury trial. These can be spendy (and all he would need is one person on the jury to think that this game is stupid or to view caches as litter). Edited by sbell111

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I don't know how they do it in NY, but here, if I were the arresting officer then there is next to zero additional costs for prosecuting.

 

First, it would have written on a traffic ticket with a court date along with all my other traffic violations, shoplifting, simple possessions, disorderlies , etc. No extra time, I'm there anyway.

 

Second, I could win the case if he wanted to proceed. I rarely lose cases in municipal court. I've won cases against fairly smart people over such minor things. I've prosecuted over 82 cents and when the guy didn't show up for court he got a $1092 fine or 30 days in jail warrant.

 

HOWEVER...

 

The guy is smart and with a lot to lose with a conviction. While I'm have no idea what he mindset is, he could play the environmentalists card. He could claim he was cleaning up illegal placements that are causing jeopardy to the hobby and rogue reviewers are allowing it--therefor he was protecting the hobby and no different than picking up trash. (Remember, this is going to be argued in front of folks who don't know about the hobby and could think this is extremely silly.) He could even argue the arrest was in retaliation to being a "cache cop" trying to do the right thing.

 

...or he could simply stay quiet and request a jury trail. The case would get shuffled and then eventually dismissed.

 

Best case scenario I see is he is not prosecuted, he keeps his job, turns his efforts to creating upper-scale caches and stops stealing others.

 

Worse case is he takes a turn for the worse. He no longer cares if folks find out who he is, recruits friends to steal even more caches, and uses his contacts in other organizations to turn those groups against geocaching making it harder to get permission and access. If he loses his job then he has more time to steal caches. He could see the hobby as the reason his life went into the toilet. Could make him even more motivated to steal.

 

It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

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Judging from his books and articles he is obviously a very smart guy. Perhaps not smart enough to keep him from running when he was first approached - better to have acted like a new cacher or at least have tossed the container in the woods. But nevertheless he seems to be a smart guy with a cause or obession.

 

Depending on the facts he could challenge the search of his car or argue that taking a cache is not theft - at least any cache where there is no express permission - but in my county he would likely go into diversion, with classes or some community service attached to it, and the charges would be dismissed at the end. That would be the easiest approach for both sides but I don't know if that is done in Rome. As others pointed out, ACD is likely.

 

Some places have adopted restorative justice models that offer victims, offenders, and community members an opportunity to come together to solve the problem. That would be appropriate in this type of situation but it is not widely used.

 

In any case, if it gets that far, there would be some interesting legal issues.

Edited by Erickson

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I wonder if an enterprising prosecutor could get enough cache owners in the area who had their caches stolen to press charges, then get a warrant to search the guy's house.
They could start with the caches in the car. If the owners put identifying data on or in them such as GC numbers, cache names or contact information. That would give them a list of potential victims. It might also give them a timeline to work with. If the investigation revealed that he was in possession of numerous caches, stolen over an extensive period, a Judge might issue a search warrant for the residence.
I'm not so sure.

 

As I read the article and other posts, he was arrested coming out of the woods. The stolen item was found in his possession. He was then transported to the police station to be processed.

 

I'm not seeing probable cause to search his car. I have little doubt that most any criminal attorney could have that evidence thrown out.

 

This leaves a person retrieving a cache and then running into the woods when approached by private citizens. If that person were to testify that he was not stealing the cache, but protecting the game peice against the approaching muggles, how could he be convicted of anything? Alternatively, he could at that point state that he found what he thought was junk and was removing it to throw it away. Either way, without the evidence from the car, he couldn't be tied to the game, more less to any other stolen caches.

 

I suspect that this case will either be dropped or end in an ACD. Either way, I don't see it affecting his employment or his clearance.

What if consented to the search of his vehicle? Lots of people consent to the search of their vehicle even when they know they have 3 pounds of drugs in the car. You would be amazed. If he had the items in his possesion and more in his vehicle it certainly would show intent. The theory of "I found something in the woods and got arrested for it" would hold no weight whatsoever. The fact he had the coordinates would show he intended to take what was not his.
Correct. On the off chance that he would have actually consented to this search, the evidence would be damning if his lawyer couldn't still get the evidence tossed. However, is it really likely that he was asked and consented to a search, knowing the the items were in there?
Either way this is a misdemeanor offense and costs next to nothing to prosecute. The DA will be in court hearing everything from speeding tickets to spitting on the sidewalk anyway.
According to NY law (§340.40(2)), he would have the right to a jury trial. These can be spendy (and all he would need is one person on the jury to think that this game is stupid or to view caches as litter).

 

You would be amazed how many people consent to vehicle searches knowing full well they have damning evidence in thier possesion. Really.

 

There is also a search subsequent to arrest if he was actually taken into cutody.

 

Many departments have a vehicular inventory policy if they impound any vehicle which often times can turn up illicit materials not otherwise found.

 

I cant believe every person charged with a misdemeanor is "entitled" to a "Jury" trial!?!?! I dont see how the courts can function under that kind of activity. New Yorkers are paying exorbinent amounts to keep this going if true.

 

I would still bet when the officer said "well, do mind if I look in the car then?" this guys said ..."ok"

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Apparently neither of you have heard of the Broken Windows Theory.

Isn't that the theory that one small off-topic post will lead to other, even further off-topic posts? :unsure:

 

Seriously... no, I was not aware of that concept. I find it interesting, but not so sure it applies to this case.

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This story is TRUE!!!! This cache thief has been stealing caches in our area for the past 7 years!!!! The thief was caught at a cache called The Wishing Tree, GC23RVX in Rome NY. I posted the info over on GitBuff and GOF placed the newspaper article here for you to see. Here is some more info that took place before the article came out:

I'm curious about how you worded it when you called the police, and how the dispatcher reacted. Did they already know what geocaching was? How much did you have to explain, and how did you explain it?

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Apparently neither of you have heard of the Broken Windows Theory.

Isn't that the theory that one small off-topic post will lead to other, even further off-topic posts? :unsure:

 

Seriously... no, I was not aware of that concept. I find it interesting, but not so sure it applies to this case.

 

Yes it does.

Stealing is illegal. It doesn't matter that it is only pieces in a game with value only to those playing.

If we allow one person to get away with it others inevitably escalate until it becomes a much bigger problem. The crime itself is irrelevant, the perception becomes that it is OK to steal as long as it doesn't affect a large enough segment of the population.

 

Check out Malcolm Gladwell's explanation of the Broken Windows theory for his book "The Tipping Point"

 

What was the topic for this thread? :D

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Apparently neither of you have heard of the Broken Windows Theory.

Isn't that the theory that one small off-topic post will lead to other, even further off-topic posts? :unsure:

Seriously... no, I was not aware of that concept. I find it interesting, but not so sure it applies to this case.

Yes it does.

Stealing is illegal. It doesn't matter that it is only pieces in a game with value only to those playing. If we allow one person to get away with it others inevitably escalate until it becomes a much bigger problem. The crime itself is irrelevant, the perception becomes that it is OK to steal as long as it doesn't affect a large enough segment of the population.

 

Check out Malcolm Gladwell's explanation of the Broken Windows theory for his book "The Tipping Point"

 

What was the topic for this thread? :D

Aha... Zero Tolerance Policies. Don't get me started on that one!

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I wonder if an enterprising prosecutor could get enough cache owners in the area who had their caches stolen to press charges, then get a warrant to search the guy's house.
They could start with the caches in the car. If the owners put identifying data on or in them such as GC numbers, cache names or contact information. That would give them a list of potential victims. It might also give them a timeline to work with. If the investigation revealed that he was in possession of numerous caches, stolen over an extensive period, a Judge might issue a search warrant for the residence.
I'm not so sure.

 

As I read the article and other posts, he was arrested coming out of the woods. The stolen item was found in his possession. He was then transported to the police station to be processed.

 

I'm not seeing probable cause to search his car. I have little doubt that most any criminal attorney could have that evidence thrown out.

 

This leaves a person retrieving a cache and then running into the woods when approached by private citizens. If that person were to testify that he was not stealing the cache, but protecting the game peice against the approaching muggles, how could he be convicted of anything? Alternatively, he could at that point state that he found what he thought was junk and was removing it to throw it away. Either way, without the evidence from the car, he couldn't be tied to the game, more less to any other stolen caches.

 

I suspect that this case will either be dropped or end in an ACD. Either way, I don't see it affecting his employment or his clearance.

What if consented to the search of his vehicle? Lots of people consent to the search of their vehicle even when they know they have 3 pounds of drugs in the car. You would be amazed. If he had the items in his possesion and more in his vehicle it certainly would show intent. The theory of "I found something in the woods and got arrested for it" would hold no weight whatsoever. The fact he had the coordinates would show he intended to take what was not his.
Correct. On the off chance that he would have actually consented to this search, the evidence would be damning if his lawyer couldn't still get the evidence tossed. However, is it really likely that he was asked and consented to a search, knowing the the items were in there?
Either way this is a misdemeanor offense and costs next to nothing to prosecute. The DA will be in court hearing everything from speeding tickets to spitting on the sidewalk anyway.
According to NY law (§340.40(2)), he would have the right to a jury trial. These can be spendy (and all he would need is one person on the jury to think that this game is stupid or to view caches as litter).
You would be amazed how many people consent to vehicle searches knowing full well they have damning evidence in thier possesion. Really.
I have no doubt that many do consent to such a search. I wonder whether the percentage of such cases is high, however.
There is also a search subsequent to arrest if he was actually taken into cutody.

 

Many departments have a vehicular inventory policy if they impound any vehicle which often times can turn up illicit materials not otherwise found.

I would be quite surprised if such a search could not be deemed unconstitutional.

 

4th Amendment to The Constitution:

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I cant believe every person charged with a misdemeanor is "entitled" to a "Jury" trial!?!?! I dont see how the courts can function under that kind of activity. New Yorkers are paying exorbinent amounts to keep this going if true.
6th Amendment to The Constitution:

 

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

I would still bet when the officer said "well, do mind if I look in the car then?" this guys said ..."ok"
Perhaps, but would you? I know that I wouldn't.

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Stealing is illegal. It doesn't matter that it is only pieces in a game with value only to those playing.

 

I have hundreds of dollars worth of ammo boxes hidden. If someone like this was working my area I could be out a significant sum on ammo boxes alone.

 

Some here are trying to dismiss this as "tupperware theft" and not worthy of the attention of the authorities. There are real people out real money thanks to this guy and the amount probably runs into many thousands of dollars over the years.

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The Courts in most jurisdicitons have stated that there is no expectation of privacy in a motor vehicle, certainly not to the extent that exist in one's dwelling.

 

As an aside, Just look what they want to do with your cell phone conversations --YUP, they want to say that there is no expectation of privacy because you talk over the "air"

 

As a further aside, I think his problem stems from the fact that he is a canoeist--Yup , he even uses nessmuk as his E Mail -- They are of a type for sure.

 

This is a most interesting thread, because in my experience I have never even heard of calculated raiding of caches, oh for sure we have a few that have gone missing, but never to this extent. Has anyone else seen this phenomena.

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As an aside, Just look what they want to do with your cell phone conversations --YUP, they want to say that there is no expectation of privacy because you talk over the "air"

 

I talk over a wire too and you can bet I have a reasonable expectation of privacy there too.

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This is a most interesting thread, because in my experience I have never even heard of calculated raiding of caches, oh for sure we have a few that have gone missing, but never to this extent. Has anyone else seen this phenomena.

 

There is (or was) a similarly persistent cache thief working part of Idaho.

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The Courts in most jurisdicitons have stated that there is no expectation of privacy in a motor vehicle, certainly not to the extent that exist in one's dwelling.
This is not correct. It is generally held that items in a vehicle are covered under 4th Amendment protections. However, items that are in plain view not considered to be 'private'. In the case of someone arrested while outside their vehicle, items that could be seen through the glass are in plain view and not considered protected. Items that are not visible through the glass, whether because they are in the glove compartment, the trunk, under a seat, covered by other trash, or simply not visible due to tinted windows or cargo covers would not be in 'plain view'. Therefore, permission or a warrant would need to be obtained prior to any search for these items.

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A good lawyer against a bad one could make it stick. It's still illegal to steal an abandoned car with the keys left in it, this is just a little smaller. Just wish they could search his place for more stolen goods

 

The question is what the definition of abandoned is. I say that a cache is not abandoned it is cached. Thus the name geocache. But that is just my opinion and I do not set legal precedent.

First, thank you for posting this. You made my day.

Caches can fit the defintion of abandoned property, save for the simple fact that they are not abandoned. They don't meet the spirit and intent. Ignoring that, I worked with an Assitant US District Attorney when we were having issues and he was ready and willing to cite the laws the police would need to make a charge stick.

 

This isn't a felony, so it won't have priority in the system, but it's still against the law. Maybe we will get lucky and get some follow up on his side of the story, plus the final outcome. I swear the engineer types are the worst.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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I am no expert at the law but if a cop sees illegal drugs through the window of your car, isn't that probably cause to search? In this case, if the suspect had a cache in hand, couldn't the cop have seen other caching stuff and that be probably cause?

 

I don't know if that happened in this case. I was just wanting clarification on the probably cause through a window issue.

 

Craig

C&S 143

 

EDIT: Looks like someone above answered this already as I was typing it up.

Edited by c&s 143

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That is the plain view exception , and there is also the exception attendant to arrest. Under most circumstances an officer affecting an arrest can search the car on the theory that he wanted to make sure there were no dangerous instumentalities present. Not to go off topic, but what I find fascinating is the psychology of someone who does stuff like this. Was it environmental vengence or just being annoying. Why would you set out to purposely annoy people not bothering anything--you own children excepted--that you just do for sport.

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This is a most interesting thread, because in my experience I have never even heard of calculated raiding of caches, oh for sure we have a few that have gone missing, but never to this extent. Has anyone else seen this phenomena.

 

There is (or was) a similarly persistent cache thief working part of Idaho.

 

Every year the guy rises from the unsavory depths and works hard to put a new spin on his maggotry. We have learned to torment him, and ignore him at turns. The one is fun for us as he does react. The other isn't fun for him because it's like boiling a frog in water from, the frog grows used to the heat as it rises and doesnt' react. Our maggots new and fresh is merely a variation on an old theme that just doesn't get us worked up anymore. He's a technical type. Maybe even an engineer.

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Now, if he had stolen a full sized toe pincher coffin, I agree :unsure: But if he had stolen all of my nanos, I'd been delighted. In all seriousness, I do believe prosecution is complete waste of public dollars. For gosh sakes, if you want the three bucks to replace that lock-n-lock, stop over some night. I'll help you out.

 

So you condone theft? Obviously you don't own your own business. Set up a business selling cache containers and tell me it would be OK for someone to stop by every day and take one for free. Same thing. We prosecute people for stealing food, medicine, clothing, why not a cache? Theft is theft is theft. Glad you will never be on a jury in my area. I can hear it now, "Sure he murdered a homeless guy, but he was a BUM, big deal, there are lost more our there" Or sure, he stole your car, but you have another" Good grief, the law is meant to be handed out evenly, not at will. Are there exceptions, sure at times, but theft for spite on any scale should not be tolerated and from all accounts, this has gone on on a grand scale.

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As an aside, Just look what they want to do with your cell phone conversations --YUP, they want to say that there is no expectation of privacy because you talk over the "air"

 

I talk over a wire too and you can bet I have a reasonable expectation of privacy there too.

Cell phones are in fact radios. Any radio signal can be easily intercepted. You can encrypt the signal, but you cannot prevent it from being heard. Therefore no radio signal, including cellular, has any expectation of privacy.

 

The issue of personal property ownership and theft-related law for caches left out in public has been discussed repeatedly in this forum with, to my knowledge, no definitive answer.

 

Hopefully that question will soon be answered.

 

I'm no expert but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn, and I believe that a cache wherever hidden remains the personal property of the cache owner, but I have seen no law to prove or disprove that belief.

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Cache maggots suck. But arrested and prosecuted? We have stooped (almost) as low as the maggot.

 

I thought cachers were supposed to be kind, loving and forgiving? Oops.. in these forums, what was I thinking.

...

I certainly should have emphasized my real point more clearly.. the kind and forgiving was more or less just rabble rousing. The prosecution being a waste was my real point. And good, bad, or indifferent, anyone thinking that prosecution is free outside of salaries paid to staff surely have not thought it out completely.

 

Kind, loving, and forgiving, is different than enforcing laws that someone should respect. If you do care for someone you actually wouldn't allow them to do wrong things and they did would make it worth their while to do it right next time around. It's where "spare the rod, spoil the child" comes from. It isn't actually easy to be kind, loving, and forgiving towards your maggot, but that's how you are supposed to go about it even as you prosecute them.

 

Edit: Added 2nd post on topic to quote:

Your point is taken. Any one cache is essentially a 'nothing'. Somewhere between one and hundreds you cross over the line into felony. More importantly though, I don't mind if a cache is muggled by someone who doesn't know any better. There is no malice in their intent. When their is malice in the intent I'd be plenty happy to nip that crap in the bud with the first cache. I trust the judge to sort out the random doof from the guy with the black heart who hates his fellow man.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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This whole event reminds me how unequal justice is from area to area.

 

Years ago I was victim of a hit and run in San Jose, California. I recorded the license number and description of the vehicle and reported it to the police. They told me they would have a letter for my insurance company and that was it, no chasing the driver down or anything. Damage to my vehicle was a few hundred dollars for repaint.

 

Then I had some weasel pocket my money for a $30 ebay purchase from Hong Kong. I saw the exact item listed a year later (I was still looking for these collectibles) and found a police website in Hong Kong. I wrote a letter to them and was contacted by an officer to provide details to. They then arrested this scoundrel and gave him a grilling. I received an email from the officer that the seller should contact me, if not, they would take him in again. I got my item! Amazing results.

 

Had a similar run in with someone over a $7 Bill the Cat (ackthpt!!) button I bought for a friend's birthday. An email to the local sherriff's office (Cleveland, Ohio area) and I had the button in a couple days.

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This story is TRUE!!!! This cache thief has been stealing caches in our area for the past 7 years!!!! The thief was caught at a cache called The Wishing Tree, GC23RVX in Rome NY. I posted the info over on GitBuff and GOF placed the newspaper article here for you to see. Here is some more info that took place before the article came out:

I'm curious about how you worded it when you called the police, and how the dispatcher reacted. Did they already know what geocaching was? How much did you have to explain, and how did you explain it?

 

I'd like to know this too! I'm going to guess the Rome Police Department actually had some reports of the thefts on file. Just speculation though.

 

Some of the earliest reports on this were in the forums at our State-wide Geocaching organization, NYGO (New York Geocaching Organization). But they went defunct, and erased their website last year. :unsure: It sounds like DNNSGPS has plenty of documentation though.

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...The issue of personal property ownership and theft-related law for caches left out in public has been discussed repeatedly in this forum with, to my knowledge, no definitive answer....

 

Definitive answers have been provided. People believing them is another thing. I have no reason to doubt the advice given to my by the Assistant US District attorney in my area. Stealing caches is against the law. He was willing to work with police and cite specific laws they could use. Short of going to court, or paying an attorney to write up a legal opinion, you really can't get a better answer. If this actually does get prosecuted we will have the first real test that goes beyond citing laws that could be used.

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As an aside, Just look what they want to do with your cell phone conversations --YUP, they want to say that there is no expectation of privacy because you talk over the "air"

 

I talk over a wire too and you can bet I have a reasonable expectation of privacy there too.

Cell phones are in fact radios. Any radio signal can be easily intercepted. You can encrypt the signal, but you cannot prevent it from being heard. Therefore no radio signal, including cellular, has any expectation of privacy.

 

The issue of personal property ownership and theft-related law for caches left out in public has been discussed repeatedly in this forum with, to my knowledge, no definitive answer.

 

Hopefully that question will soon be answered.

 

I'm no expert but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn, and I believe that a cache wherever hidden remains the personal property of the cache owner, but I have seen no law to prove or disprove that belief.

 

I can also go to a box on the ground and clip in a couple of wires and intercept phone calls. But if I were caught doing so, I would still be locked up.

 

For the purpose of subverting wire tap laws so the FBI can listen in on my cell phone conversation, it is no different just because a cellphone uses a radio.

 

I do expect my cellphone conversation to be encrypted and therefore I do expect privacy.

Edited by GeoBain

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Caches can fit the defintion of abandoned property, save for the simple fact that they are not abandoned.

 

The defense to larceny in New York is a claim of right, which depends on who is the legal owner of the property in question. The anti-caching people equate caching with littering, which obviously would not be larceny. There is one NY case that states, in a far different context, "Petitioner cites no persuasive authority to support its contention that property must be abandoned by its owner before it can be considered trash." But without going that far, the answer may depend on where a cache was placed and if it had permission of a property owner. I am not sure that if you took the container from an LPC hide in a parking lot of a mall where the actual property owner had not signed off on it, that it would be larceny.

 

As far as I know, nobody has decided if a cache "owner" retains a valid property interest in a particular cache. Geocache, geocaching or letterboxing only turned up one reference in Westlaw that had to do with easements. It could get very complex and fact-dependent, and vary depending on the local ordinances.

 

In my area, there are hundreds of caches placed in county open space land where caching has never been expressly permitted or restricted. But the regulations for abandoned property provide that no person shall "leave unattended or without permission any personal property or device on District lands for a period longer than 12 hours." So if my client was cited with theft for stealing a cache container on open space lands, the defense would be apparent.

 

But given the time, costs, and uncertainty of litigating this, I expect the case to be resolved short of trial and conviction. An ACD type of disposition may be in the best interests of all the parties. And the costs of attorneys fees and the like may discourage our friend from continuing his hobby in the future.

Edited by Erickson

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"Bio: Paul Repak, age 58, is an engineer at the Rome Air Force Research Laboratory. He is also a state licensed guide and a canoe paddler in competitions (the 90-miler, etc.), and a Crew Boss Boonville Search and Rescue.

 

That might explain my DNF on a cache along the Oswegatchie River (just under 2 hours from Rome) that was half a days paddle and over 6 miles from any road.

Are you saying that he didn't only steal caches but he posted bogus Found It logs as well? :unsure:

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...The issue of personal property ownership and theft-related law for caches left out in public has been discussed repeatedly in this forum with, to my knowledge, no definitive answer....

 

Definitive answers have been provided. People believing them is another thing. I have no reason to doubt the advice given to my by the Assistant US District attorney in my area. Stealing caches is against the law. He was willing to work with police and cite specific laws they could use. Short of going to court, or paying an attorney to write up a legal opinion, you really can't get a better answer. If this actually does get prosecuted we will have the first real test that goes beyond citing laws that could be used.

 

I once was a regular in a forum where an attorney was another regular member. He provided quite a lot of insight into things we often thought our own sense of indignation should give us certain rights and such. It's a cathartic exercise to vent and rant, but law and statute vary from state to state and sometimes county to county and city to city. This character has clearly tweaked the tail of a rattlesnake, regardless of how the cache theft plays out.

 

Consider where he works and the security clearance necessary to do so. His behavior outside of work may come into question with his superiors.

 

Being antisocial is a luxury, whatever the laws, make no mistake.

 

As was well explained by a theologian regarding the Ten Commandments - the laws are there, not as absolutes, but so we can all coexist peacefully by respecting the spirit of them and therefore respect our fellows.

Edited by DragonsWest

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"Bio: Paul Repak, age 58, is an engineer at the Rome Air Force Research Laboratory. He is also a state licensed guide and a canoe paddler in competitions (the 90-miler, etc.), and a Crew Boss Boonville Search and Rescue.

 

That might explain my DNF on a cache along the Oswegatchie River (just under 2 hours from Rome) that was half a days paddle and over 6 miles from any road.

Are you saying that he didn't only steal caches but he posted bogus Found It logs as well? :unsure:

 

Huh?

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That is the plain view exception , and there is also the exception attendant to arrest. Under most circumstances an officer affecting an arrest can search the car on the theory that he wanted to make sure there were no dangerous instumentalities present. Not to go off topic, but what I find fascinating is the psychology of someone who does stuff like this. Was it environmental vengence or just being annoying. Why would you set out to purposely annoy people not bothering anything--you own children excepted--that you just do for sport.

Since the individual wasn't arrested in the vehicle and wasn't in the vehicle immediately prior to the arrest, I don't believe that this search would meet the requirements of Arizona v. Gant.

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"Bio: Paul Repak, age 58, is an engineer at the Rome Air Force Research Laboratory. He is also a state licensed guide and a canoe paddler in competitions (the 90-miler, etc.), and a Crew Boss Boonville Search and Rescue.

 

That might explain my DNF on a cache along the Oswegatchie River (just under 2 hours from Rome) that was half a days paddle and over 6 miles from any road.

Are you saying that he didn't only steal caches but he posted bogus Found It logs as well? :unsure:

 

Huh?

It was an obscure reference to your often cited example of looking for a cache because of a bogus log. Obviously if the cache that was stolen and nobody had DNF'd it in the meantime, you would have no way of knowing if the cache was there or not, so it wouldn't be the same thing as looking for a cache based on a bogus log. A better statement would have been that perhaps after stealing the cache, the thief should post a DNF so that briansnat would know there wasn't a cache to look for and wouldn't spend half a day paddling to it. :D

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I'm curious to find out why he chose to do this. Here are some possiblities:

 

Eco-terrorist - Save the world from those horrible Geocachers

Disgruntled cacher - Perceived he was wronged by the establishment

 

or (the one I think it is)

 

When I was a kid, we use to drive around smashing mailboxes with baseball bats (among various other things)... Why? When I think back, I am surprised that we never got caught, because we would always drive back along the street an hour or so later. Why? So we could see the results of what we had done. Sometimes frustrated people would be standing outside and occasionally, the police would be talking to some of them. It made us feel powerful and made us feel like we had control. In some ways, I think it was a way for us to cope with the personal issues we all had. After all, misery loves company. If I am angry and frustrated and things aren't going right for me, I will feel better if I can inflict that same feeling on others.

 

I image the cache thief would steal the caches and then probably watched the cache listings to see what people wrote on the logs. The exact opposite of how most of us get enjoyment from reading people's positive experiences. Reading about people's negative experiences and knowing that he caused them is a sort of therapy for whatever personal issues he has going on in his life.

 

Just my 2 cents :unsure:

Edited by ReadyOrNot

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