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GOF and Bacall

Cache maggot arrested.

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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.

 

In my county it would not get that far. He would go into the diversion program. Attend some classes (presumably with shoplifters). Do some community service. And the charge would be dismissed. I wonder how ACD works in NY.

Edited by Erickson

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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.

 

In my county it would not get that far. He would go into the diversion program. Attend some classes (presumably with shoplifters). Do some community service. And the charge would be dismissed. I wonder how ACD works in NY.

That's what I said... community service. We agree. The fine was a "maybe" and a "small". :unsure:

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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.

 

Agreed, regarding trapping. 300-400 years ago these Trappers rights and protections were probably taken seriously enough to consider stealing anothers traps as a hanging offense.

 

As to Geocaching this is likely precedent setting. The judge may be considering that. The weight of a spreadsheet showing a pattern of behavior going back years, as well as testimony from local cachers seeking relief and protection, backed up by whatever was found in the car, may be used to establish the pattern as not an isolated incident. Maybe serious, maybe not, but I do think the court should be approached about the strength of argument by the agrieved cache placers.

Edited by DragonsWest

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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.

 

Could it be possible that more than 1 person may be responsible for missing caches? If this guy got caught stealing 1 cache, that's all he should be held to account for. Assuming that he is responsible for every missing cache in the area is quite the stretch (unless he's admitted to it).

 

Had he just been stealing magnetic caches, I would imagine we probably wouldn't be having this conversation :unsure:

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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.

 

In my county it would not get that far. He would go into the diversion program. Attend some classes (presumably with shoplifters). Do some community service. And the charge would be dismissed. I wonder how ACD works in NY.

That's what I said... community service. We agree. The fine was a "maybe" and a "small". :unsure:

 

Yup. The thing that Mr. Repak presumably wants to avoid is the conviction that would accompany a fine. As it is the arrest will be considered as part of his security review for the rest of his working career (if he retires at 65). But convictions are always nice to avoid.

 

Its a strange case. Keeping old logs and caches. Seemingly obsessed with removing them even more than I am with finding them. Even though he ran, maybe part of him was trying to get caught (I have had clients lke that). And with scientific abilities that could have been used for puzzle construction, his outdoors skills, the search and rescue abilities, he would have made a legendary geocacher. Didn't Maxwell Smart say something about how it was too bad that someone used their talent for evil rather than good?

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Agreed, regarding trapping. 300-400 years ago these Trappers rights and protections were probably taken seriously enough to consider stealing anothers traps as a hanging offense.

 

As to Geocaching this is likely precedent setting. The judge may be considering that. The weight of a spreadsheet showing a pattern of behavior going back years, as well as testimony from local cachers seeking relief and protection, backed up by whatever was found in the car, may be used to establish the pattern as not an isolated incident. Maybe serious, maybe not, but I do think the court should be approached about the strength of argument by the agrieved cache placers.

I don't believe the judge will even be able to consider the spreadsheet. Just because those caches went missing does not mean that Mr. Repak had anything to do with any of them. The list of caches and coordinates that he had with him might be able to be considered, but I'm even pretty skeptical about that, unless he has said something that we don't know about yet. Its almost certain, I believe, that this will be about one, and only one geocache.

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Didn't Maxwell Smart say something about how it was too bad that someone used their talent for evil rather than good?
Not sure. I think the Cone of Silence was lowered at the time.

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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.

 

Agreed, regarding trapping. 300-400 years ago these Trappers rights and protections were probably taken seriously enough to consider stealing anothers traps as a hanging offense.

 

As to Geocaching this is likely precedent setting. The judge may be considering that. The weight of a spreadsheet showing a pattern of behavior going back years, as well as testimony from local cachers seeking relief and protection, backed up by whatever was found in the car, may be used to establish the pattern as not an isolated incident. Maybe serious, maybe not, but I do think the court should be approached about the strength of argument by the agrieved cache placers.

 

I understand that the original and current trapping laws were created to protect the "livelihood" of the trappers, and that geocaches do not effect the "livelihoods" of the owners, but don't the same principles apply? If your property rights are protected from poachers in the sport of trapping, then why are your property rights NOT protected from poachers in the sport of geocaching?

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With all the mention of cache thieves in other states too, it almost makes one wonder if there isn't an antigeocaching website out there with zealots heck bent on removing them. I'm glad he was caught, but wonder how anyone so smart could do something so... not smart. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

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With all the mention of cache thieves in other states too, it almost makes one wonder if there isn't an antigeocaching website out there with zealots heck bent on removing them. I'm glad he was caught, but wonder how anyone so smart could do something so... not smart. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.
There are. Or, at least, there have been in the past. Some have been discussed at length in this forum. But we'd rather not give them any free publicity.

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With all the mention of cache thieves in other states too, it almost makes one wonder if there isn't an antigeocaching website out there with zealots heck bent on removing them. I'm glad he was caught, but wonder how anyone so smart could do something so... not smart. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.
There are. Or, at least, there have been in the past. Some have been discussed at length in this forum. But we'd rather not give them any free publicity.

I did not see that Mr. Repak was being given any publicity - hailed as a hero or martyr - when I checked on one of them earlier. But they do not appear to be very active . . . . .

Edited by Erickson

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Come one, folks. No prosecution here. Just put him in a big metal airtight box, place the box in the woods, and tell him he will be freed when the FTF cacher solves the puzzle for the coords. Simple. :unsure:

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A part of theft is the intent to deprive another of their personal property. It's going to be really hard to prove this guy had that intent. It's like finding a quarter on the ground and picking it up. Are you guilty of theft? We are talking about an item placed in public with the intent for others to find. What if he never heard of caching and just thought he had found a small item in a place with no ryme or reason? Ever find a golf ball in the middle of the woods? What if he did know it was a cache, but he was taking it to a safe place away from muggles in order to sign the log? We've all done that...right?

 

I'm not saying the guy is not guilty of stealing the cache. Nor am I saying he is guilty. As a ex police officer and one that worked four years in the court system, I know there are very often 2 sides to a story and things aren't always as they appear. Ask the witches of Salem. I also know that unless he pleads guilty there is no prosecuter that will pursue this case. If he pleads not guilty they will offer him a plea deal. If he refuses that, they will nul prose the case.

 

El Diablo

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A part of theft is the intent to deprive another of their personal property. It's going to be really hard to prove this guy had that intent. It's like finding a quarter on the ground and picking it up. Are you guilty of theft?
He had a list of caches and coordinates with him. When spotted, he ran. I think the intent part will be a no-brainer in this case, don't you? It isn't as if he just stumbled upon the cache. There are plenty of sticky wickets here, but I don't think that intent will be one of them.

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A part of theft is the intent to deprive another of their personal property. It's going to be really hard to prove this guy had that intent. It's like finding a quarter on the ground and picking it up. Are you guilty of theft?
He had a list of caches and coordinates with him. When spotted, he ran. I think the intent part will be a no-brainer in this case, don't you? It isn't as if he just stumbled upon the cache. There are plenty of sticky wickets here, but I don't think that intent will be one of them.

 

I'm sorry...but i don't see in the OP that he had a list of caches or coordinates? Maybe something added in the other 100 posts or so that I missed?

 

El Diablo

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A part of theft is the intent to deprive another of their personal property. It's going to be really hard to prove this guy had that intent. It's like finding a quarter on the ground and picking it up. Are you guilty of theft?
He had a list of caches and coordinates with him. When spotted, he ran. I think the intent part will be a no-brainer in this case, don't you? It isn't as if he just stumbled upon the cache. There are plenty of sticky wickets here, but I don't think that intent will be one of them.

I'm sorry...but i don't see in the OP that he had a list of caches or coordinates? Maybe something added in the other 100 posts or so that I missed?

El Diablo

I don't blame you, if you're coming in late. I believe it was mentioned in several places, but here is the first reference to The List: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...t&p=4230044

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He was caught by me on a game camera damaging a cache in Blue Mountain Lake. Since his arrest, we have now matched his arrest photo with the Game Camera Photos. The information was provided to the NY State Police (troopers). It is now working its way to the Roime/Utica area authorities and there are potential charges brewing for this person in the Adirondack Park townships of Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake. This person has a 4 year track record of stealing caches. A problem I had asked GC.com to help with years ago and they refused to help. We all took it into our own hands and started stake outs, setting game cameras and patrolling cache areas in the hopes of catching the thief.

 

Furthermore, i have opened a dialog with this thief.

 

"Shane,

 

Please let me apologize not just for myself but especially for the game of geocaching going where it is not intended to be. I will be happy to make whatever contribution is appropriate to positively promoting geocaching in the region and then fight to prevent any other such happenings as I disappear from sight. Please let me know your suggested arrangement." I have no containers. If you have a source for them, perhaps I could help advance the sport with an appropriate cash contribution directed to the acquisition of a good number of new containers that you could distribute.

 

-Paul"

 

"I think that would be a very good gesture. I am not going to put a number on anything, because I can only speak for my self and bluegirl as to the damage you have caused in our area. I wouldn't even know where to begin to come up with a count or total value. Again, I think you should just do what you feel is right.

 

On the 27th of this month, 80-100 geocachers ( a good number of them being those of whom you affected) will meet here in Long Lake for our Annual mid-winter Event. Maybe use this as your chance. Again, I'm not going to tell you what to do.

 

I do want to ask you "why" and how you might suggest we can prevent anyone else from going down your path? What was it about our sport that you did not like? Knowing this may help us to better educate and/ or help modify our ways.

 

Shane"

 

A part of theft is the intent to deprive another of their personal property. It's going to be really hard to prove this guy had that intent. It's like finding a quarter on the ground and picking it up. Are you guilty of theft?
He had a list of caches and coordinates with him. When spotted, he ran. I think the intent part will be a no-brainer in this case, don't you? It isn't as if he just stumbled upon the cache. There are plenty of sticky wickets here, but I don't think that intent will be one of them.

I'm sorry...but i don't see in the OP that he had a list of caches or coordinates? Maybe something added in the other 100 posts or so that I missed?

El Diablo

I don't blame you, if you're coming in late. I believe it was mentioned in several places, but here is the first reference to The List: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...t&p=4230044

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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.

You are using BS's logic. Just because I believe that prosecuting him isn't a slam dunk doesn't mean that I condone stealing caches.

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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.

Replace 'abandoned property' with 'litter' in that case.

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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.

When we CITO, should we consider the person's intent for every bit of rubbish that we bag? Of course not. We make the assumption that the bit of trash that we are picking up is litter.

 

That being said, I did a quick search for litter control laws in the State of New York. I have no idea what specific town this happened in because I am too lazy to go back and reread the article, but the first law that I came across used this verbiage.

 

No person shall litter within the Village, whether on public or private premises and

whether or not owned by such person, and no person shall knowingly permit the

accumulation of litter on his premises, whether placed there by him or others.

 

Littering was defined as follows:

 

To intentionally or negligently leave, post, throw, drop, discard,

abandon, cast aside, permit to be blown or dropped from a vehicle or otherwise any litter within

the Village or to place any litter in any trash receptacle owned or maintained by the Village, for

the use of the Village, without prior written approval of the Village. The depositing of litter in

public or private receptacles intended for that purpose shall not constitute littering.

 

You'll note that intent is not necessarily a requirement. Negligence is in the eyes of the authorities, not the item owner.

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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.

Replace 'abandoned property' with 'litter' in that case.

 

sbell, are you a lawyer or LEO?

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Well it weakens my response in the Dazed and Confused thread:

It has always been the case that the police won't or can't do much about cache pirates. First of all the value of items in caches (even including travel bugs and coins) is seldom more that a few dollars. The police have more to worry about than such petty theft. Second, of course, is that fact that caches are intentionally left in public places and people are invited to trade for items in the cache. This might make it difficult to prosecute someone for stealing from a cache. At the least, any DA who filed charges in such a case would face a lot of ridicule for wasting public funds when there are "real" crimes to worry about.

We'll see if the DA pressed charges or if he'd rathter not take public ridicule of being known for spending the public's dollars going after all those hide-a-key thieves. :unsure:

 

IF this turns out to be true, the difference is the cache itself (which is never meant to be traded) was taken, not just the contents (which are meant to be traded).

 

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.

Ok, Maybe I will??

 

"When the geo-thief takes a cache container and does whatever it is he does with it, all the swag, log book, geo-coins and travel bugs are lost forever," said local geocacher Carole Darling, of Kent Street. "The game is ruined for other players."

 

Darling said she hid the magnetic case two days ago on public property near the new sculptures on Griffiss, and was driving by the site Tuesday when she saw that someone had found it. Darling parked nearby to speak with the person, but when she approached him, he took off running into a nearby wooded area, police said.

 

"If you’re a geocacher, you don’t run," Darling said. Suspicious of the man, Darling said she called police because geocachers in the area have had a problem for years with people stealing the trinkets.

The name is right there in the article, there's no need to hide it.

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[/b]Littering was defined as follows:

 

To intentionally or negligently leave, post, throw, drop, discard,

abandon, cast aside, permit to be blown or dropped from a vehicle or otherwise any litter within

the Village or to place any litter in any trash receptacle owned or maintained by the Village, for

the use of the Village, without prior written approval of the Village. The depositing of litter in

public or private receptacles intended for that purpose shall not constitute littering.

 

You'll note that intent is not necessarily a requirement. Negligence is in the eyes of the authorities, not the item owner.

 

That's not a definition of litter. That's a description of what you can and/or cannot do with litter.

 

Duh, you said Littering, not litter. Ignore this post.

I was going to say that.

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One of the first things that needs to be done here, I believe, is to better educate the DA and anyone else in the legal system there that will listen. That the original news article described it as "stealing trinkets" does not help one iota!

As I understand it, there is an effort in the area for getting some better written new stories published, but first impression is usually the strongest, so it will take a sustained effort to get rid of the trivialization (is that a word?) of that original article.

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Well, there is that gray area.. on the fence.. you're right I suppose. But I'd still rather donate the three bucks to Knowschad rather than having the county attorney spend 1000's. Maybe we could just hold our own geocaching court. Now that I am on board with.

 

Oh bullocks!

The county attornet gets paid the same no matter how many cases he prosecutes. It doesn't cost extra to prosecute a case. It's his FULL TIME JOB.

 

Don't use the "spend money prosecuting" argument. It holds water less efficiently than a sieve.

 

I hate to go off topic but consider the following:

 

- Who pays for case research?

- Who pays for document filing and processing?

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

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

Right...and the same could be said of stealing low value items from a business, or from your yard, or the kids who busted up your sprinklers, or the taggers who just ruined my new fence. of the folks who skip toll on the bridge...there's a whole industry in place to nab those folks.

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[/b]Littering was defined as follows:

 

To intentionally or negligently leave, post, throw, drop, discard,

abandon, cast aside, permit to be blown or dropped from a vehicle or otherwise any litter within

the Village or to place any litter in any trash receptacle owned or maintained by the Village, for

the use of the Village, without prior written approval of the Village. The depositing of litter in

public or private receptacles intended for that purpose shall not constitute littering.

 

You'll note that intent is not necessarily a requirement. Negligence is in the eyes of the authorities, not the item owner.

 

That's not a definition of litter. That's a description of what you can and/or cannot do with litter.

 

Duh, you said Littering, not litter. Ignore this post.

I was going to say that.

 

Darn forums are too slow to remove a stupid post before anyone can read your stupidity. bangHeadAgainstWall.gif

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If the guy is found guilty and convicted, it could wreak havoc with his security clearance. He is a USAF engineer, odd are he has a clearance. Having a conviction on his record isn't good for clearances.

If he is the one who has been stealing caches in that area, he just might find himself out of a job, or at least no longer working for USAF.

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With all the mention of cache thieves in other states too, it almost makes one wonder if there isn't an antigeocaching website out there with zealots heck bent on removing them. I'm glad he was caught, but wonder how anyone so smart could do something so... not smart. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

 

The first part of the following quote I think is appropriate, perhaps the second part is, too.

 

"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."

-- Oscar Levant

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[That being said, I did a quick search for litter control laws in the State of New York. I have no idea what specific town this happened in because I am too lazy to go back and reread the article,

 

In Rome, litter is defined as "throwing, placing, depositing or leaving or causing to be dumped, thrown, deposited or left any refuse of any kind or any object or substance which tends to pollute, mar or deface into, upon or about" any public place except as authorized or any public property without consent of the owner.

 

That language could be debated. Under the Groundspeak guidelines, a cache does not pollute, mar or deface property and therefore we are not liable for littering. But it seems to me that the real question is whether the cache owner maintains a legal "right to possession" under the state's larceny laws. In some circumstances, that answer might be yes -- the cache was placed there with the express permission of the owner or land manager and the cache owner maintains control over it. In other instances, if permission was not obtained, the answer may be less clear. Can you legally have a right of possession over something you leave in an area where you do not have express permission?

 

Littering, abandonment, and other concepts might be helpful as a way of defining whether a right exists, but by and large this would be a case of first impression. If the property was legally abandoned, I could make a pretty good argument that a right of possession does not exist for the purposes of larceny.

 

If Paul was checking into this forum, I would have to advise him not to discuss the situation or go to any caching events until the legal issues are resolved. With that, I have to think about doing some caching during our state's Furlough Friday.

Edited by Erickson

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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?

Maybe not stupid at all...he can always claim(to the DA/Judge/Police) that he misunderstood the game, and has since learned the way it works.

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The first part of the following quote I think is appropriate, perhaps the second part is, too.

 

"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."

-- Oscar Levant

 

That is the mantra of my life.

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In some ways I hope this guy gets convicted of a crime and in other ways I hope he gets off scot free (legally speaking).

 

Here's my logic.

If he gets convicted, then people (cachers) will feel a sense of justice being given. They will feel good that he was punished.

If he doesn't get convicted, some person who is teetering on the edge between good and evil may just decide that there HAS to be some justice and make his life miserable, like he has done to others.

 

Either way, I'm OK with it.

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If the guy is found guilty and convicted, it could wreak havoc with his security clearance. He is a USAF engineer, odd are he has a clearance. Having a conviction on his record isn't good for clearances.

If he is the one who has been stealing caches in that area, he just might find himself out of a job, or at least no longer working for USAF.

 

I had another thought on this.

 

If he was using his computers at AFRL to look at the cache pages to plan inappropriate activity, even if he is not convicted of the crime of stealing caches he could still be in a world of legal hurt.

 

Groundspeak's server logs will contain that information.

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If the guy is found guilty and convicted, it could wreak havoc with his security clearance. He is a USAF engineer, odd are he has a clearance. Having a conviction on his record isn't good for clearances.

If he is the one who has been stealing caches in that area, he just might find himself out of a job, or at least no longer working for USAF.

 

I had another thought on this.

 

If he was using his computers at AFRL to look at the cache pages to plan inappropriate activity, even if he is not convicted of the crime of stealing caches he could still be in a world of legal hurt.

 

Groundspeak's server logs will contain that information.

His employer will have the records too and you can bet they are looking at them.

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Pitchforks and torches aside, I am very curious as to how this will play out. Here in the forums, the thread(s) will eventually be filled with so many emotional spasms that the truth/outcome will be nearly impossible to find.

 

Does anyone feel up to tracking this story for us in a blog or something? You know what I mean. Just court records, local articles, just the facts Ma'am type stuff.

 

I would subscribe to your newsletter if you would do that for us :unsure:

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He appears to be more than just a thief. More like obsessive antisocial behavior over the period of 6 years involving bolt cutters and hundreds of caches. Losses of perhaps $1000 or more with countless hours involved. I don't think the legal system will do the right thing, either letting him go, or giving him a large fine with community service would not really address the problem. He rather needs to see a psychiatrist.

 

It was the eerie sound which made Paul Repak turn down the volume of his television. He had been waiting for a specific movie to come on, but it was such a such a strange noise that he had to go up and look to see what it was. Sort of a metallic churning. It slowly grew louder and louder until he realized it was directly outside his door out front of his house. He pulled back the curtain and peered out through the window. There out in the street were dozens of people holding ammo cans and shaking them. They were standing and moving the green boxes like a pair of maracas, but not saying a word. Filled with pebbles perhaps. It was rather disturbing to him. He had stalked hundreds of geocaches in his day, but now they had found out. They were stalking him. What could he do, call the police? It appeared to be a parade which just stopped directly out front of his house. There were plenty of people, many which were wildly different. Old people, young people. A guy in a suit to a few teens wearing flannel shirts. A small child clutched a Signal the frog doll. Several others were wearing shirts which proclaimed "I use GPS units to hunt tupperware in the woods". There was a girl in tight clothing and too much makeup with bison tubes as earrings who was frowning. A well muscled guy with a tattoo of a travelbug on his forearm stood by with a mean look on his face. The noise got louder and louder, finally Paul opened the front door. Silence. All at once. With a nervous stutter he mumbles "I am ss sss sor..."

A small girl about 8 years old in ponytails suddenly stands up, spits out her gum, and yells CRUCIFY HIM!!!

 

Suddenly Paul wakes up in a cold sweat. It had been the same dream over and over. He hadn't expected any real legal trouble. But they knew. They all knew. They knew where he lived and where he worked. However nothing had really come of it which bothered him. Several had emailed him and were actually nice about it, but he couldn't understand it. What was coming? When he left work the other day he noticed a flyer under his windshield wiper, but upon closer inspection he saw that it was actually a cache page printout. Later after he arrived home he also noticed a magnetic key holder with a GC label stuck to his fender. A few bison tubes he found hanging from his mailbox. It was all very subtle. Very subtle. Green mold on his bread. Hmm. Where did that come from? Green mold was a known carcinogen.. He turned on the tv. A sci-fi movie comes on and the little green men suddenlly remind him of Signal somehow...

 

AAAGGH!!! :rolleyes::huh:

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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Nice writing. Very creative.

 

I would have went with the young girl walking up to him with a shy smile and then kicking him in the shin with her tap dancing shoes. But that's how I roll!

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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".

 

You are right!!

My apologies.......

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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?

Maybe not stupid at all...he can always claim(to the DA/Judge/Police) that he misunderstood the game, and has since learned the way it works.

Agreed. It just limits his options.

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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.

Most theft statutes focus on intent. Simply taking an item does not equal theft. There has to be an element of intent to deprive. Folks who were unaware of our game could likely claim, in all honesty, that they didn't know the film can or the Gladware was someone's property. A fellow geocacher would have a tougher time using a similar argument, as they would already have the inherent knowledge that the item they are taking is a game piece, left at a specific location, for a specific purpose, and that it was still in play. Even so, the burden of proof would still rest with the state to prove this bozo had that knowledge. The streets are full of lying, thieving scumbags who walked into courtrooms as criminal defendants and walked out by lying their butts off.

 

A pity he couldn't just be another geocacher, we'd probably all be great friends with him.

Nope. He's a canoeist. Can't trust them guys. If he don't 'yak, he ain't jack. :huh:

 

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

I think it's a fair analogy. Both are items of value that are left in what might appear to the uninitiated to be an abandoned state. :rolleyes:

 

How the judge feels (hopefully) is irrelevant.

I think that how the Judge feels will be quite relevant, if it ever makes it that far. If it even goes as far as a suppression hearing, the Prosecutor will offer their interpretation of the scenario and what they feel is applicable case law. The scumbag's lawyer, (is that redundant?), will offer their interpretation of the scenario and what they feel is applicable case law. At that point, the Judge is gonna have to make a decision. His thoughts on the matter will weigh on this decision.

 

One of the first things that needs to be done here, I believe, is to better educate the DA

Best advice yet. It's a fair bet that the Prosecutor's office has little if any clue about this game, or the scumbag's impact on it. It would be in the best interest of the local cachers to educate whoever is taking the lead in this case, so, at the very least, he'll know what questions to ask.

 

...and then kicking him in the shin with her tap dancing shoes.

Not high enough... Just sayin' :P

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He was caught by me on a game camera damaging a cache in Blue Mountain Lake. Since his arrest, we have now matched his arrest photo with the Game Camera Photos. The information was provided to the NY State Police (troopers). It is now working its way to the Roime/Utica area authorities and there are potential charges brewing for this person in the Adirondack Park townships of Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake. This person has a 4 year track record of stealing caches. A problem I had asked GC.com to help with years ago and they refused to help. We all took it into our own hands and started stake outs, setting game cameras and patrolling cache areas in the hopes of catching the thief.

 

Furthermore, i have opened a dialog with this thief.

 

"Shane,

 

Please let me apologize not just for myself but especially for the game of geocaching going where it is not intended to be. I will be happy to make whatever contribution is appropriate to positively promoting geocaching in the region and then fight to prevent any other such happenings as I disappear from sight. Please let me know your suggested arrangement." I have no containers. If you have a source for them, perhaps I could help advance the sport with an appropriate cash contribution directed to the acquisition of a good number of new containers that you could distribute.

 

-Paul"

 

"I think that would be a very good gesture. I am not going to put a number on anything, because I can only speak for my self and bluegirl as to the damage you have caused in our area. I wouldn't even know where to begin to come up with a count or total value. Again, I think you should just do what you feel is right.

 

On the 27th of this month, 80-100 geocachers ( a good number of them being those of whom you affected) will meet here in Long Lake for our Annual mid-winter Event. Maybe use this as your chance. Again, I'm not going to tell you what to do.

 

I do want to ask you "why" and how you might suggest we can prevent anyone else from going down your path? What was it about our sport that you did not like? Knowing this may help us to better educate and/ or help modify our ways.

 

Shane"

 

 

 

Perhaps you can lure him to the event by noting that now that he is known, you can present him with his Golden Ammo can for "finding" 1,000 caches? :rolleyes:

 

We need to get our story straight. Early in the thread, myself and Flask said he was active since 2004. DNNSGPS said 7 years, and Geo-lobo first said 3 years, and then 4 above. I noted earlier that the first reports were in the since erased NYGO forums, and I'm guessing I saw them in 2005. Hopefully DNNSGPS has all this very well documented.

 

Man, if there was ever a time for the Frog to reinstate the ability to search for archived caches, this is it.

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It was the eerie sound which made Paul Repak turn down the volume of his television. He had been waiting for a specific movie to come on, but it was such a such a strange noise that he had to go up and look to see what it was. Sort of a metallic churning. It slowly grew louder and louder until he realized it was directly outside his door out front of his house. He pulled back the curtain and peered out through the window. .............

 

Well Done.. :rolleyes::huh: Waiting for scene 2 .....

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.........

Man, if there was ever a time for the Frog to reinstate the ability to search for archived caches, this is it.

 

I'm guessing that there were ways to get this guy long ago by tracking who was viewing, watching, bookmarking... the caches involved. Hopefully someone out there is already working on identifying any others that exist in other areas.

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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.

Agreed, regarding trapping. 300-400 years ago these Trappers rights and protections were probably taken seriously enough to consider stealing anothers traps as a hanging offense.

 

As to Geocaching this is likely precedent setting. The judge may be considering that. The weight of a spreadsheet showing a pattern of behavior going back years, as well as testimony from local cachers seeking relief and protection, backed up by whatever was found in the car, may be used to establish the pattern as not an isolated incident. Maybe serious, maybe not, but I do think the court should be approached about the strength of argument by the agrieved cache placers.

I understand that the original and current trapping laws were created to protect the "livelihood" of the trappers, and that geocaches do not effect the "livelihoods" of the owners, but don't the same principles apply? If your property rights are protected from poachers in the sport of trapping, then why are your property rights NOT protected from poachers in the sport of geocaching?
The problem is, to make the analogy work you had to force both geocaching and trapping to be 'sports'. While some have long claimed that geocaching is a sport rather than a game or mere pastime, trapping is generally more of an occupation. Certainly, the laws to protect trapping were put into place to protect these people's livelihoods, not simply to help ensure that sportsman (or game players) are not dissatisfied.

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The traps/lobster pots analogy is well nigh perfect.

 

The question is really what constitutes abandonment. A rusty bicycle may well be mine because I bought it, but if I toss it in a ditch and leave it there for a month, I've any claim to it (setting aside the littering issue). Any maintained cache isn't abandoned, so it's still owned by the fellow who placed it. The question is whether or not there's a rule in New York about personal property left out in the woods for some period of time that is constructive abandonment. If I leave my tent set up for a day, I haven't abandoned it while I'm on a day hike. If I leave it there for a month, I've almost certainly turned it into trash. I may intend to check my traps, but if I don't do so every 10 days or 30 days or once a year or *at some point*, it's probably eventually ruled abandoned.

 

But if I send one of my helpers to check my traps or another boat to check on the lobster pots, rather than going myself, that's going to toll whatever period NY law requires for abandonment.

 

The question, as to abandonment -- and this is the fun property issue -- is whether or not telling my friends to check on the cache and let me know if it is still there avoids the claim on abandonment. I'd argue it does.

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This thread has contained numerous mentions of depriving a person of his/her property, with some people basically saying any theft is a theft and should be prosecuted, while some others are saying that theft of an inexpensive item is not worth the cost or effort of prosecution, or that it is unlikely a judge will find Mr. Repak criminally liable. Personally, I feel that (to misquote the estimable Dr. Suess) "a theft is a theft, no matter how small," but I realize that in reality there is a big difference (in regard to the actual, financial effect on the victim) between stealing a Hide-a-Key and stealing a car.

 

What has only been mentioned in passing, though, and what is actually of greater importance in my opinion, is the emotional toll that actions such as those perpetrated by Mr. Repak take on the well-being and quality of life of the victims (both cache owners and cache seekers in this case). I liken Mr. Repak's actions to those of a teenage bully who sits in the middle of the seesaw and won't let the little kids play, or those of a skateboearder who rides through and scatters the flock of pigeons an old lady is feeding in the park, or to those of an ignoramous who smashes people's pumpkins and jack o' lanterns on Halloween. There is little or no financial loss, but the emotional toll that results is real and lasting, especially when it's your five year old who couldn't go on the seesaw, or your three year old whose pumpkin was "killed," or your ten year old whose cache was stolen numerous times.

 

Why shouldn't people hide and seek caches as they wish (provided proper permission of landowners is sought)? What gives Mr. Repak or any other individual (save a property owner) the right to limit or interfere with caching? Or to keep little kids from using the seesaw, or to chase the pigeons an old granny is feeding, or to smash someone's pumpkin? There is something seriously and fundamentally wrong with an individual who gets a thrill from depriving others of their harmless, legitimate peace and pleasure, and that, rather than the actual loss of property, is what the legal system should address in cases like this. Perhaps there needs to be court-ordered counseling in this case!

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The

The question is really what constitutes abandonment.

Wikipedia (presuming Bittsen hasn't been altering it to prove a point :rolleyes: ) has a pretty good article on this issue.

 

Regarding the definition of abandoned property:

Property is generally deemed to have been abandoned if it is found in a place where the true owner likely intended to leave it, but is in such a condition that it is apparent that the true owner has no intention of returning to claim the item.

 

I think the key part of that definition, as far as we as geocachers are concerned, is "that the true owner has no intention of returning to claim the item."

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It's not a question of whether the guy did something *wrong* - he did - it's a question of whether he did something illegal. I'm here to tell you, those things don't overlap as much as they should.

 

Anyway, the nut grafs of New York Law can be found at Sec 251-258 of New York's Personal Property Laws. Even if he wants to argue he thought it was abandoned, he has an obligation to report lost property to the police or put it back where he found it, under penalty of $100/six months. If it's worth less than ten dollars, he can make a good faith effort to return it to the owner without taking it to the police, and after a year can keep it.

Edited by Alkhalikoi

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