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GOF and Bacall

Cache maggot arrested.

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I'm not seeing probable cause to search his car.

My guess? They searched his car as part of an inventory, prior to towing it. If they took him to jail, they can't leave his car there, unprotected. That would open the department up to liability for any damage that occurred to the car after they hauled the goober away. According to the Supreme Court, probable cause is not needed for an inventory search. So, hopefully they towed this idiot's car.

 

If they did not, things could get tougher. There's still plain view doctrine, that could get them in the vehicle, if they word it right in the report. The officers are allowed to look inside the car, through the windows. If they were to see something they could clearly identify as being related to the incident, such as another clearly labeled cache or logsheet, they have the right to enter the car without a warrant to recover it. While recovering that, they have a right to seize any other "evidence" they see.

 

If they don't specify inventory or plain view in their report, then I agree, this case is done. I just can't see this guy giving consent. If the guy's income matches what appears to be his job description, I'd say this case was done anyway. O.J. Simpson proved that all you need is enough $$$, and you cannot be prosecuted. Assuming that this schmoo is the long term cache maggot, he has shown a level of commitment that is, quite frankly, astounding. I would suspect that he'll be perfectly OK with spending whatever amount is needed to make this case go away, both to protect his job, and to prove, (in his own mind), that his actions are justified.

 

One thing I would like to see is the application of public record. Now that this guy has been formerly charged, his home address is a matter of public record. I wonder what kind of impact there would be on his life if some local were to copy/paste something on each stolen cache, along the lines of; "Hello! Just a kwick note. A cache thief has been positively identified. His name is Joe Smith, and he lives at 123 Main St. Anywhere NY. 12345. If you were to pay Joe a visit, he might be willing to explain his side of the story, regarding why he has opted to steal our caches for almost a decade. I'll be gathering data over the next couple weeks, and seeking permission from Joe's neighbor. Once I have this permission, I'll be hosting an event across the street from Joe's house, so all the local cachers can offer their thoughts on cache maggotry. Hope to see you there!"

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WOW, lots of reading for me this morning.

 

1) Does the cache OWNER retain rights to the cache?

Well, since we are responsible for maintenance and can remove it from the game at our leisure, I say we DO retain ownership rights to caches. Hence, they are personal property and theft can be proven. One could cite the arrest in Texas for the bomb squad response (in another thread) as an example of responsibility/rights as far as cache ownership.

 

2) The search is likely valid for many reasons. Likely the maggot gave permission for the search believing that he was going to get off and probably even tried to use his credentials as an example of his trustworthiness.

 

3) This is a misdemeanor. He won't be allowed a jury trial because it's not a felony. The constitution clearly states that a jury trial must be available for CRIMINAL cases, not misdemeanors.

 

4) With the sheer number of caches this guy has stolen, it's clear he had a psychopathing compulsion to steal these caches. You can't use the environmentalist excuse because with the number of caches he has stolen, many of them must have been urban caches.

 

5) It's a good thing this guy wasn't into killing. He went serial a long time ago.

 

6) Yeah, now that he was caught and his job is on the line, he's sorry. I'm not buying it. He's serial.

 

7) I don't condone harassing him about it. Posting his personal info was a bad idea. The last thing that we need is for him to have a harassment defense. It would make geocachers look like a group of whackos. Anything that can make him a victim isn't a good idea.

 

8) I hope this gets dropped. Why? Because we don't need an official court record that states that caches are still owned by the cache owners. This could open up potential liability suits in the future. I would love to see this guy punished outside of the courts (read as job penalization, marriage issues, etc).

 

9) The courts won't do anything based on emotion. State facts and only facts. Offer to testify if you are in the area. Have clear information that a judge will understand. If anyone has had a cache stolen, contact the DA and let him (or her) know. The more information provided, the better.

 

10) It's clear that some who are commenting have never been involved with the law, on either side of the issue. Sorry but if you haven't ever been to court, you don't know what you are talking about.

 

Lots more thoughts but this will do for now

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First of all, what you all do not know is that this cache thief has been stealing caches from the Rome/Utica area up north to the Adirondack Region (myself being one of the cachers affected by his activities). He has been stealing caches for over three years. Many attempts have been made to catch him (Stake outs, game cameras, etc). I know this is the same person because of his profile in the Rome Sentinental paper (Professional guide, canoe paddler, 90 miler contestant). He has stolen the cache at the Adirondck Museum (private property) over 9 times. One of the times, he brought a pair of lock cutters to cut a very large thick chain that was welded to the ammo can. Three reports have been made to the N.Y. State Troopers regarding this cache alone.

 

I know he is the same person, because I have had a dialog with him (via email - 4 exchanges) since his arrest and he has basically offered restitution and/or volunteered time to educate people in the sport of geocaching. We have invited him to a event on the 27th (GC21G1J) to make a public apology to the majority of the geocachers he has affected.

 

I am still waiting his response to my last email to him.

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Has anybody else Googled "Paul L. Repak"? Looks like a pretty smart feller (try saying that ten times, quickly!) At the very least, I think this should be quite an embarrassment to somebody like that.

 

Has anyone googled Sean Mills, the writer of this article?

 

I'm gonna need another source before I believe a word of it.

 

do we even know that was the same Sean Mills? The staff writer bills himself as Sean I. Mills. Maybe he has the same name (that would never happen!) and uses his middle initial to set himself apart...

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First of all, what you all do not know is that this cache thief has been stealing caches from the Rome/Utica area up north to the Adirondack Region (myself being one of the cachers affected by his activities). He has been stealing caches for over three years. Many attempts have been made to catch him (Stake outs, game cameras, etc). I know this is the same person because of his profile in the Rome Sentinental paper (Professional guide, canoe paddler, 90 miler contestant). He has stolen the cache at the Adirondck Museum (private property) over 9 times. One of the times, he brought a pair of lock cutters to cut a very large thick chain that was welded to the ammo can. Three reports have been made to the N.Y. State Troopers regarding this cache alone.

 

I know he is the same person, because I have had a dialog with him (via email - 4 exchanges) since his arrest and he has basically offered restitution and/or volunteered time to educate people in the sport of geocaching. We have invited him to a event on the 27th (GC21G1J) to make a public apology to the majority of the geocachers he has affected.

I am still waiting his response to my last email to him.

Just before seeing your post, I took a look at caches in Boonville, and the only one I could find anywhere near town was GCJAJD Whipple Bridge Micro and was surprised to see the note on the cache page (quoted here in part):

 

NOTE: Due to the presence of an individual who gets his or her thrills out of ruining someone else’s fun, if you plan on looking for this then send me an e-mail and I will make sure there is a cache for you to find. I will keep replacing this cache .
Hopefully there will be more caches to find in Boonville in the future!

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WOW, lots of reading for me this morning.

 

1) Does the cache OWNER retain rights to the cache?

Well, since we are responsible for maintenance and can remove it from the game at our leisure, I say we DO retain ownership rights to caches. Hence, they are personal property and theft can be proven. One could cite the arrest in Texas for the bomb squad response (in another thread) as an example of responsibility/rights as far as cache ownership.

Just because the guidelines say that we still own our caches doesn't mean that the argument couldn't be made (in court) that they are merely abandoned property.
2) The search is likely valid for many reasons. Likely the maggot gave permission for the search believing that he was going to get off and probably even tried to use his credentials as an example of his trustworthiness.
Ummm, you only gave one reason and it wasn't really that likely, in my opinion (and others in this thread).
3) This is a misdemeanor. He won't be allowed a jury trial because it's not a felony. The constitution clearly states that a jury trial must be available for CRIMINAL cases, not misdemeanors.
You get that misdemeanors are crimes, right? Both misdemeanors and felonies are covered by the criminal code and both are eligible for jury trials per the law that I cited earlier in the thread.
4) With the sheer number of caches this guy has stolen, it's clear he had a psychopathing compulsion to steal these caches. You can't use the environmentalist excuse because with the number of caches he has stolen, many of them must have been urban caches.
Who cares why he did it?

 

It should be noted that he hasn't been charged with stealing hundreds of caches over several years. He was charged with stealing one cache.

5) It's a good thing this guy wasn't into killing. He went serial a long time ago.

 

6) Yeah, now that he was caught and his job is on the line, he's sorry. I'm not buying it. He's serial.

Are you having a conversation with yourself?
7) I don't condone harassing him about it. Posting his personal info was a bad idea. The last thing that we need is for him to have a harassment defense. It would make geocachers look like a group of whackos. Anything that can make him a victim isn't a good idea.
He wouldn't be able to use it as a defense, but he certainly could level harrasment charges against those that take part.
8) I hope this gets dropped. Why? Because we don't need an official court record that states that caches are still owned by the cache owners. This could open up potential liability suits in the future. I would love to see this guy punished outside of the courts (read as job penalization, marriage issues, etc).
In my opinion, that's not the risk as we would be just as insulated against liability as we were prior to the arrest. The real danger is cities deciding that geocaching is causing to much cost due to the police and courts having to referee the game. That would give them incentive to go all South Carolina on us.
9) The courts won't do anything based on emotion. State facts and only facts. Offer to testify if you are in the area. Have clear information that a judge will understand. If anyone has had a cache stolen, contact the DA and let him (or her) know. The more information provided, the better.
The mere fact that an individual had a cache stolen would not be useful to the DA. Perhaps if the cache was recently stolen and was readily identifiable then they could match it up to him, but still...
10) It's clear that some who are commenting have never been involved with the law, on either side of the issue. Sorry but if you haven't ever been to court, you don't know what you are talking about.
Oh great seer, please set us straight. :unsure:
Lots more thoughts but this will do for now
I have no doubt. Edited by sbell111

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First of all, what you all do not know is that this cache thief has been stealing caches from the Rome/Utica area up north to the Adirondack Region (myself being one of the cachers affected by his activities). He has been stealing caches for over three years. Many attempts have been made to catch him (Stake outs, game cameras, etc). I know this is the same person because of his profile in the Rome Sentinental paper (Professional guide, canoe paddler, 90 miler contestant). He has stolen the cache at the Adirondck Museum (private property) over 9 times. One of the times, he brought a pair of lock cutters to cut a very large thick chain that was welded to the ammo can. Three reports have been made to the N.Y. State Troopers regarding this cache alone.

 

I know he is the same person, because I have had a dialog with him (via email - 4 exchanges) since his arrest and he has basically offered restitution and/or volunteered time to educate people in the sport of geocaching. We have invited him to a event on the 27th (GC21G1J) to make a public apology to the majority of the geocachers he has affected.

 

I am still waiting his response to my last email to him.

 

My opinion, for what it's worth. DO NOT let him pay any restitution before his trial. NO apologies or public appearances should be allowed before his trial.

 

Believe me, as a former ner-do-well, he is ONLY trying to get off on the charges. He's not really sorry. He's just playing CYA tactics at this point.

 

Make him an example for everyone to see. For all eternity there will be the story of how this plays out. Do you want it to read "Cache maggot loses job over theft of caches" or "cache maggot gets off scot free by apologizing"?

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<snip>

Lots more thoughts but this will do for now
I have no doubt.

 

I see you are defending this maggot. I can't help but wonder why.

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First of all, what you all do not know is that this cache thief has been stealing caches from the Rome/Utica area up north to the Adirondack Region (myself being one of the cachers affected by his activities). He has been stealing caches for over three years. Many attempts have been made to catch him (Stake outs, game cameras, etc). I know this is the same person because of his profile in the Rome Sentinental paper (Professional guide, canoe paddler, 90 miler contestant). He has stolen the cache at the Adirondck Museum (private property) over 9 times. One of the times, he brought a pair of lock cutters to cut a very large thick chain that was welded to the ammo can. Three reports have been made to the N.Y. State Troopers regarding this cache alone.

 

I know he is the same person, because I have had a dialog with him (via email - 4 exchanges) since his arrest and he has basically offered restitution and/or volunteered time to educate people in the sport of geocaching. We have invited him to a event on the 27th (GC21G1J) to make a public apology to the majority of the geocachers he has affected.

 

I am still waiting his response to my last email to him.

 

My opinion, for what it's worth. DO NOT let him pay any restitution before his trial. NO apologies or public appearances should be allowed before his trial.

 

Believe me, as a former ner-do-well, he is ONLY trying to get off on the charges. He's not really sorry. He's just playing CYA tactics at this point.

 

Make him an example for everyone to see. For all eternity there will be the story of how this plays out. Do you want it to read "Cache maggot loses job over theft of caches" or "cache maggot gets off scot free by apologizing"?

 

If he comes to the event make him run the gauntlet.

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This guy was released on $100.00 cash bail and is under threat of a home search. Does any local cacher know what day the trash is collected in Boonville, NY? You just might be able to find a treasure trove of cache containers and other pilfered geo-stuff.

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<snip>

Lots more thoughts but this will do for now
I have no doubt.

 

I see you are defending this maggot. I can't help but wonder why.

 

I often disagree with sbell111, but he is right about some things. A class A misdemeanor in NY (like the petty larceny or the possession of stolen property charged) is punishable by up to one year in jail. By both statute and the constitution, he gets a jury trial.

 

The legal "ownership" of a cache is an open question. While you point out that the "owner" might have obligations if a bomb squad is called out, it is not the same issue. The "owner" might have obligations if a cache is deemed abandoned property or litter -- as some jurisdictions do - but this does not mean that taking abandoned property constitutes larceny. As I posted before, there may be a number of factors to be resolved including local ordinances, where the cache was placed, whether it had express permission to be there.

 

It is not a matter of defending his actions, but noting that the legal system may or may not provide a remedy in this case. And it probably will not provide emotional satisfaction (it rarely does). I hope at the very least, Mr. Repak will see the error in his ways and move on to something else.

Edited by Erickson

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Just before seeing your post, I took a look at caches in Boonville, and the only one I could find anywhere near town was GCJAJD Whipple Bridge Micro and was surprised to see the note on the cache page (quoted here in part):

 

NOTE: Due to the presence of an individual who gets his or her thrills out of ruining someone else’s fun, if you plan on looking for this then send me an e-mail and I will make sure there is a cache for you to find. I will keep replacing this cache .
Hopefully there will be more caches to find in Boonville in the future!

 

There is only 1 cache in Boonville but come this spring there will be many more! But just go 5 miles south and you will 2 more caches.

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I think he should be required to attend and head up the section that cleans up the nastiest sections for the next 10 CITO events in the area.

 

If he is claiming that his actions are part of a misguided application of Leave No Trace then CITO would be a very appropriate sentence.

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This guy was released on $100.00 cash bail and is under threat of a home search. Does any local cacher know what day the trash is collected in Boonville, NY? You just might be able to find a treasure trove of cache containers and other pilfered geo-stuff.

 

He lives on the outskirt of town near the newly built waste management landfill in Ava. :unsure:

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This guy was released on $100.00 cash bail and is under threat of a home search. Does any local cacher know what day the trash is collected in Boonville, NY? You just might be able to find a treasure trove of cache containers and other pilfered geo-stuff.

 

He lives on the outskirt of town near the newly built waste management landfill in Ava. :unsure:

 

Nice house too.

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One thing I would like to see is the application of public record. Now that this guy has been formerly charged, his home address is a matter of public record. I wonder what kind of impact there would be on his life if some local were to copy/paste something on each stolen cache, along the lines of; "Hello! Just a kwick note. A cache thief has been positively identified. His name is Joe Smith, and he lives at 123 Main St. Anywhere NY. 12345. If you were to pay Joe a visit, he might be willing to explain his side of the story, regarding why he has opted to steal our caches for almost a decade. I'll be gathering data over the next couple weeks, and seeking permission from Joe's neighbor. Once I have this permission, I'll be hosting an event across the street from Joe's house, so all the local cachers can offer their thoughts on cache maggotry. Hope to see you there!"

 

Hmmmm.....I like this idea!! I have a few caches close to the Boonville area with more to come this spring.

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Who cares why he did it?

 

I do , very much so. In fact that is the part of this story that is of most interest to me.

 

I also want to know will he be able to keep his account ?

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Who cares why he did it?

I do , very much so. In fact that is the part of this story that is of most interest to me.

I also want to know will he be able to keep his account ?

I think that it is pretty clear (to my satisfaction, at least) that he did it (or at least, started doing it) for perceived environmental (Leave No Trace) reasons. He's a devout and extreme wilderness canoeist. It possibly morphed into other reasons later, but I'd be willing to bet that is how it began.

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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.

 

OK First of all - I was NOT the one that got thief Tuesday evening, that was Kayleo and Johfra. As to what they said to the police I don;t know.

 

Yes - i have documentation - an excel spreadsheet listing ALL the caches he has stolen from 2004-2007. Including all the replaced caches and how many times it was taken. I stop taken down the info from 2008-present as life got in the way.

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I think that it is pretty clear (to my satisfaction, at least) that he did it (or at least, started doing it) for perceived environmental (Leave No Trace) reasons. He's a devout and extreme wilderness canoeist. It possibly morphed into other reasons later, but I'd be willing to bet that is how it began.

 

I have to agree with you, but I still like my alternative theory that (given his intelligence and scientific mind) he may have been a puzzle cacher gone mad.

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This story is so full of win. Even if it doesn't stick, it's good to publicly embarrass this guy a bit.

 

This really is the full impact on this fellow. A misdemeanor, maybe a fine or restitution is small spuds. Having his name in the local paper as a thief, particularly in a town the size of Boonville has to really sting. He's tagged now.

 

Wonder what his employer will have to say about it all.

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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.

 

I hope the geocacher who has opened this dialogue with the guy will convince him that returning any property that he has in his possession would be a first big step toward actual contrition.

 

I'm picturing boxes filled with cache containers and travelers being distributed back to the rightful owners. That would go a long way in this guy's attempts to make amends.

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This story is so full of win. Even if it doesn't stick, it's good to publicly embarrass this guy a bit.

 

This really is the full impact on this fellow. A misdemeanor, maybe a fine or restitution is small spuds. Having his name in the local paper as a thief, particularly in a town the size of Boonville has to really sting. He's tagged now.

 

Wonder what his employer will have to say about it all.

He probably has many folks thanking and congratulating him, too, though. In my conversations with non-cachers, the concept of "Isn't that just creating litter?" seems to be one of the first things they ask.

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and a Crew Boss Boonville Search and Rescue.

darn. a fellow Search and Rescuer

:unsure:

That's probably what he figured he was doing. Searching for geocaches and rescuing them.

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He IS the guy who's been stealing caches in the Utica area? I had planned a trip to Utica around christmas last year. Thought being a big city there would be lots of cachers and so caches. Was surprised to see that what caches there were were all members only (I'm not a member). Reading further it became apparent that the only way for Utica cachers to protect their caches from a local cache maggot was by making them premium members only.

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....Just because the guidelines say that we still own our caches doesn't mean that the argument couldn't be made (in court) that they are merely abandoned property...

 

Abandoned property laws allow land owners to deal with personal property left behind by people. The park service (or whoever) has to follow a prescribed process. I haven't read any variation of abandoned property laws that don't have a process (which if you don't follow it's not considred abandeoned) or where a person other than the land owner can make the call. Especially when there is active evidence that the property isn't abandoned.

 

It's an angle but it would be a short lived one.

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He's a devout and extreme wilderness canoeist--I said that before, you have to watch that type.

 

What amazes me is that I am just about the same age, and I am much too old physically or mentally to be messing with other peoples stuff. Which causes me to question his entire level of maturity and if he should be working in his field. Sounds pretty strange.

 

I wonder if he has more finds than me too.

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...The legal "ownership" of a cache is an open question. ...

 

I own my caches. No question. It is as simple as that. People keep questioning it because they can't get their mind around the concept that personal property doesn't have to be in your own yard, or on your person. That people keep asking doesn’t change the reality of ownership.

 

So to reverse the question. Do you have any doubt that taking a field instrument used by Fish and Game on non fish and game lands would be theft? Would it change if they spent as much on that as we do on a cheap cache? No. The only thing that does change is the level of effort the property owner (and often the police) put into dealing with theft.

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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, ...

 

Keeping it simple. You got it right when it comes to abandoned property. It's a land owner function and not so much random folks. Litter by most laws I've read is defined by the intent to discard which a cache clearly isn't discarded. A land owner can (and they have) invoke the abandoned property rules to get rid of a cache, or to cite why they don't want them. Joe AntiCacher can't so they go for "litter" but caches don't fit the defintion of the various litter laws I've read.

 

I don't think the ownership of a cache has been tested in court, but there are laws on the books (Keep in mind I was working with an Attorny on a similar issue here) that do cover caches and which can be used to presecute. At the time I had an Attorney cache a LEO cacher both working on this. Then we had a murder and the department resources were focused on the higher crime. After that it was never revisited.

 

Ignoring all of that. I flat out claim to own my cache. Most of us do. Most of the rest of us recognize who owns a cache. You can find the owner of a cache quite simply. It's listed on the cache page. There is perhaps more legal claim to be made for a cache and more public records of ownership than most peronsal property out there for which we would not be having the debate.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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... 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.

Very nice.

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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.

 

OK First of all - I was NOT the one that got thief Tuesday evening, that was Kayleo and Johfra. As to what they said to the police I don;t know.

 

Yes - i have documentation - an excel spreadsheet listing ALL the caches he has stolen from 2004-2007. Including all the replaced caches and how many times it was taken. I stop taken down the info from 2008-present as life got in the way.

 

That was my error. I thought you were with the others when he was spotted.

 

Sorry for the confusion folks.

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Just how this ends up playing out in the courts is going to be, as Artie Johnson on Rowan & Martin Laughin used to say, "very interesting."

 

If he's only gotten charged with the one count, which I believe is a misdemeanor, it may not end up in court. Don't know about NY, but NC, a charge like this upon conviction and no appreciable prior record is going to be probation at the most. That bites I know, but that's about all that can be reasonably expected to happen.

 

Edited to correct the person attributed to this. Thanks for setting me straight folks! I appreciate it!! :unsure::D

Edited by carolnbarney

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I'd love to know what the Air Force thinks of his activities..........

 

Obviously, he's no longer in the Air Force at 50+ but hopefully he loses his

security clearance.

 

(You can say I'm a little bitter. We have a cache thief in Maryland that has

been stealing my caches and hundreds of others over the past year.)

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What I don't understand is this: If he was supposedly an environmental crusader, why did he not limit himself to wilderness area caches? There is plenty of talk in this thread about missing magnetic hides, and the satellite map of the cache where he was captured seems to indicate a vaguely suburban area. Also there are plenty of other things cluttering up the environment, but he had a particularly narrow focus. I suspect some kind of OCD-related thing is the real culprit.

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Just how this ends up playing out in the courts is going to be, as Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes used to say, "very interesting."

Sgt. Shultz on Hogan's Hereos said "I know nothing". It was the Arte Johnson character Wolfgang on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In who said "Verrry Interesting".

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Just how this ends up playing out in the courts is going to be, as Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes used to say, "very interesting."

 

If he's only gotten charged with the one count, which I believe is a misdemeanor, it may not end up in court. Don't know about NY, but NC, a charge like this upon conviction and no appreciable prior record is going to be probation at the most. That bites I know, but that's about all that can be reasonably expected to happen.

 

Pardon, but do you mean Artie Johnson on Rowan & Martin Laughin?

 

"Veerrry Eennteresting ... but schtupid!"

 

I think if the local cachers wish to make a point of it, they could write amicus briefs to the court. The more the judge knows about this deviant the better decision the judge can make.

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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.

funny, my dad is an engineer and i tend to date them, but today a software engineer crashed a plane into a building here in Austin, a couple of miles down the road from my work. Thankfully no one else was killed. There was a cache in the parking lot, too. Guess I won't get a smiley for that one.

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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.

funny, my dad is an engineer and i tend to date them, but today a software engineer crashed a plane into a building here in Austin, a couple of miles down the road from my work. Thankfully no one else was killed. There was a cache in the parking lot, too. Guess I won't get a smiley for that one.

 

While this tends to diverge from the original thread, I can't help but expect that in the days to come security around government buildings will be elevated (in the typical knee-jerk review of security procedures which would still not prevent something as horrible as that from happening) and it would likely be a good time NOT to seek out caches around them.

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Just how this ends up playing out in the courts is going to be, as Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes used to say, "very interesting."

 

If he's only gotten charged with the one count, which I believe is a misdemeanor, it may not end up in court. Don't know about NY, but NC, a charge like this upon conviction and no appreciable prior record is going to be probation at the most. That bites I know, but that's about all that can be reasonably expected to happen.

Yes, I would expect a judge to give him some community service time, and maybe a small fine. No judge is going to treat this guy like a criminal. To think otherwise is foolishness.

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I used to trap when I was a kid. I would trap for Racoons, Muskrats, and the occasional Fox. I know that this activity might offend some people but in this case I think the analogy is appropriate.

 

I owned the traps that I set in the woods. They were labeled, had my name on them and they belonged to me even though they have been placed in the woods. According to trapping laws, not only did the traps belong to me but also anything IN my trap belonged to me. These laws were created to keep poachers from stealing both the traps AND the animals caught in these traps. Similar laws extend to the trapping of Lobsters. There are strict penalties associated with stealing or poaching of lobsters from other peoples lobster traps.

 

I like to feel the same way about my geocaches. They are labeled, have my name on them and they belong to me even though I placed them in the woods. Not only do the geocaches belong to me but the contents of the geocaches belong to me as well. The law should not only protect the geocache, but the contents of the geocache as well.

 

Call them muggles or maggots, what they are to me is nothing more than poachers.... Geo-Poachers!

 

my 2 cents...

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What I don't understand is this: If he was supposedly an environmental crusader, why did he not limit himself to wilderness area caches? There is plenty of talk in this thread about missing magnetic hides, and the satellite map of the cache where he was captured seems to indicate a vaguely suburban area. Also there are plenty of other things cluttering up the environment, but he had a particularly narrow focus. I suspect some kind of OCD-related thing is the real culprit.
If I were to venture a guess, it started out as only wilderness caches, but when he saw caches he stole being replaced, and things being said about him, that it eventually escalated to a personal vendetta against all geocaching.

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Given the high level of electronics that the man is involved with in his work for the Air Force it is pretty much a given that he has a security clearance. Depending on the level of his clearance just the fact of his being CHARGED can start waves of trouble with a variety of security types. He will be looked over, interviewed, questioned and investigated. It can't help but cause him grief. Gee I'm sad.

Edited by hairball45

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What I don't understand is this: If he was supposedly an environmental crusader, why did he not limit himself to wilderness area caches? There is plenty of talk in this thread about missing magnetic hides, and the satellite map of the cache where he was captured seems to indicate a vaguely suburban area. Also there are plenty of other things cluttering up the environment, but he had a particularly narrow focus. I suspect some kind of OCD-related thing is the real culprit.
If I were to venture a guess, it started out as only wilderness caches, but when he saw caches he stole being replaced, and things being said about him, that it eventually escalated to a personal vendetta against all geocaching.

 

And as things escallate in this new on-line world - the world knows about him and his misdeed.

 

Be tough for him to attend a NYSPE (or CNYSSPE) meeting and encounter other engineers who are cachers who give him the evil eye. "So, you're the one, eh?"

 

He's just lucky Obama hasn't got that Geocacher General cabinet position through the Senate, yet.

Edited by DragonsWest

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So to reverse the question. Do you have any doubt that taking a field instrument used by Fish and Game on non fish and game lands would be theft?

 

I have not looked up fish and game laws, but I assume that the agency has legal authorization to place a field instrument in particular locations. I would be upset if they came into my office and put one there.

 

On the other hand, I am not sure there is a claim of ownership (for the purposes of NY's larceny statute) over every cache that has ever been placed. in that state. Under NY law, an owner is one with the right to possession. Does placing a cache wherever you want automatically give you that right under the law? Some jurisdictions have specifically described unauthorized geocaches as both litter and abandoned property, which to my mind does not equate with a right of possesion. Rome does not address the issue.

 

Even if there is ownership for larceny purposes, some states allow a claim of right defense if the accused mistakenly believes he has the legal right to remove the property - as a person might do coming across abandoned property. I don't practice in NY so I do not know how far the defense goes in that state.

 

I tend to be wary of blanket statements, particularly when there is a lot I do not know about the facts that might be at issue. And Mr Repak's case is somewhat unique (thankfully). But if someone removes a lamp post hide from a mall parking lot where permission has never been obtained I don't think that it amounts to larceny. If a hiker comes across a geocache that has been broken and scattered about and takes it to the nearest trash bin - keeping the golf ball for himself - I don't think of it as larceny. In the end, there is a fair amount of room to argue about where Repak stands on the scale.

 

Over the years I have disagreed with a number of prosecutors and (sadly) even a fair number of judges. I would have to know a lot more about the particular cache and do a lot more research before deciding whether I could convince a court that petty larceny does not apply, but off the top of my head I think I could make an argument. That is what makes the law (and this particular case) interesting.

 

All I know is that in high school, I was with a group of people in Mexico. A couple of people started playing around with a rusty dune buggy that was apparently abandoned when the town's police force descended upon them. The resulting legal entanglement cost us all the money that we had and we were soon on our way back home. The bills in this case could add up quickly, although in a different way than it worked in Mexico. So if I were Mr. Repak I would try to settle the issue short of conviction and leave the legal arguments for another day.

Edited by Erickson

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

The possibilities are endless and only he may be able to say why... or maybe not.

 

The judge's wife caught shoplifting at K-Mart,

 

The VP scheduled to retire in three weeks from Alabama Power who was caught on camera carving graffiti into the executive elevator's paneled walls,

 

People find all sorts of ways to sabotage themselves.

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

The possibilities are endless and only he may be able to say why... or maybe not.

 

The judge's wife caught shoplifting at K-Mart,

 

The VP scheduled to retire in three weeks from Alabama Power who was caught on camera carving graffiti into the executive elevator's paneled walls,

 

People find all sorts of ways to sabotage themselves.

 

He probably started on some rationale then was keyed-up on the momentum and kept going.

 

As was alluded to prior, not entirely unlike geocaching. A pity he couldn't just be another geocacher, we'd probably all be great friends with him.

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And as things escallate in this new on-line world - the world knows about him and his misdeed.

No kidding! Did you know that this thread is already on the first page of a Google Search for his name, with the subject, Cache Maggot Arrested as the linked text!

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I used to trap when I was a kid. I would trap for Racoons, Muskrats, and the occasional Fox. I know that this activity might offend some people but in this case I think the analogy is appropriate.

 

I owned the traps that I set in the woods. They were labeled, had my name on them and they belonged to me even though they have been placed in the woods. According to trapping laws, not only did the traps belong to me but also anything IN my trap belonged to me. These laws were created to keep poachers from stealing both the traps AND the animals caught in these traps. Similar laws extend to the trapping of Lobsters. There are strict penalties associated with stealing or poaching of lobsters from other peoples lobster traps.

 

I like to feel the same way about my geocaches. They are labeled, have my name on them and they belong to me even though I placed them in the woods. Not only do the geocaches belong to me but the contents of the geocaches belong to me as well. The law should not only protect the geocache, but the contents of the geocache as well.

 

Call them muggles or maggots, what they are to me is nothing more than poachers.... Geo-Poachers!

 

 

I'd like to know what others think about this point of view...

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I used to trap when I was a kid. I would trap for Racoons, Muskrats, and the occasional Fox. I know that this activity might offend some people but in this case I think the analogy is appropriate.

 

I owned the traps that I set in the woods. They were labeled, had my name on them and they belonged to me even though they have been placed in the woods. According to trapping laws, not only did the traps belong to me but also anything IN my trap belonged to me. These laws were created to keep poachers from stealing both the traps AND the animals caught in these traps. Similar laws extend to the trapping of Lobsters. There are strict penalties associated with stealing or poaching of lobsters from other peoples lobster traps.

 

I like to feel the same way about my geocaches. They are labeled, have my name on them and they belong to me even though I placed them in the woods. Not only do the geocaches belong to me but the contents of the geocaches belong to me as well. The law should not only protect the geocache, but the contents of the geocache as well.

 

Call them muggles or maggots, what they are to me is nothing more than poachers.... Geo-Poachers!

 

 

I'd like to know what others think about this point of view...

I think these are the key phrases in your post:

  • According to trapping laws,
  • I like to feel the same way about my geocaches
  • what they are to me is

Trapping laws probably go back centuries, and are specific to trapping. How you or I or any of us feel is irrelevant. For that matter, how the judge feels (hopefully) is irrelevant. What the law says is what it will come down to. But I agree with your feelings, for what that is worth.

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