Jump to content

Police Took Cache - Want Me To Come Get It


BikeBill
Followers 5

Recommended Posts

I got the following email from some cachers this morning about a cache that was hidden in a rural covered bridge:

<<Long story short we found this cache Saturday around 8:30 or so and hung out until 9:00. We decided to leave then due to the rules regarding the bridge at night. Our friend's car broke down so we were stuck there until 10:00 PM and sure enough cops rolled through around 10:05 right before we were goign to leave. They asked why we were there and my friend made a mistake by mentioning geocaching and one of the cops who was being particularly douchey decided to ask us for the cache so he took it and said "We will destroy this, this is considered illegal dumping, tell anyone who does this you can't put this here" blah blah so on, and so forth. Cop 2 didn't care but Cop 1 got on his high horse and made a big deal out of the situation like it was some kind of vandalism or as if there would be a bomb or drugs inside.

 

So anyway, sorry for the loss of the cache, we know it's not entirely our fault but we feel responsible to some degree. Cop 1 also made a big deal about how he found out from reading the log book that there's a website. Suburb cops have nothing better to do I suppose.>>

 

Shortly thereafter, I got the following email from a Detective of that police department:

<<This item was found by the Solebury Twp PD. Should you want to reclaim this item and its contents, contact me.

 

Detective-Corporal ........

Solebury Twp PD>>

 

I don't want to walk into a trap and get cited for something so I sent the following back to the detective:

 

<<Detective-Corporal Ferrari,

 

I was already contacted by the people from whom the cache was confiscated. They told me that one of the officers that confiscated the cache said that hiding such items constituting illegal dumping or could involve illegal drugs or such.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Geocaching is a legitimate activity and caches are hidden all over the world. There are over a million caches and 4-5 million geocachers. It is a wholesome, family activity that takes people to new and different places.

 

The covered bridge, if I am correct, is part of Bucks County Park property. There are many caches hidden on various park properties (for example, Core Creek Park has ten). The purpose of hiding a cache at that particular bridge was to allow geocachers to witness the beauty of it. It has been hidden there since March 2008 and has been found 73 times (and not found a few times, also).

 

I would love to come and retrieve the cache. I do not, however, want to be cited for anything. What is the status of that situation?

 

Regards,>>

 

What is the forum's take on this situation?

Link to comment

I would go to the station with the name and phone number of the person who gave me permission to place the cache and pick up the container and put it back in place.

 

With permission to place the cache from the park board it would not fall under the illegal dumping statute.

 

While at the station I would educate the staff about geocaching and even offer to take them out for a hunt. This of course would be declined but at least they would have a knowledge of what is going on.

 

Of course I have NO legal training so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Link to comment

I doubt that it is a trap, but rather a somewhat routine letter before they throw the container out.

 

But the immediate question might be if the cache was there with permission of the park. If the cache was placed with permission, then it is a fairly easy matter. You could set up a meeting with the police to discuss caching to ensure that this situation would not happen again.

 

If the cache was simply placed there because other caches are in the local parks, then you might want to contact other cachers who have hidden there, or the local caching group, to see how they they think the matter should be approached.

 

Some parks have formal guidelines for caching. Others have taken the position of "its not permitted it must be prohibited" and removed caches when the game has been brought to their attention. Some just simply let them be. But my response might depend on the local park politics and how my actions might affect other caches.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment

As far as the local park politics go, I did notice that at least one web site for a county organization invites people to a "GeoVentures" caching program event, but includes this warning: "Please note: Geocaching is NOT permitted in any County park by outside groups, individuals or organizations. This program is sponsored by the Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation and will be monitored by the department itself." The Bold is in the original.

 

If this information is correct, and your cache was placed in a county park, then I would do a thousand mea culpas if I contacted the police and work with park officials (and other local cachers) to see if you could help develop a policy to permit the game in the parks. It appears they are not absolutely opposed to caching, so perhaps some kind of permit system that would allow them to sponsor and monitor caches might be possible.

 

GeoVentures might have more information about dealing with the parks.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment

Source: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://w...5.pdf&pli=1

 

Looking at the Bucks County Park ordinances, you could possibly get fined.

 

"No person shall: Discard, deposit, dump, litter or allow to blow away refuse of any kind or nature except by placing said refuse in containers provided for such purpose."

 

"No person shall install equipment or make any alterations or adjustments to existing equipment or facilities without the specific approval in writing of the Director."

 

And:

 

"Any person who violates any provision of this Ordinance shall, for every such offense, upon conviction thereof, in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) or more than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term of not more than thirty (30) days. All prosecutions shall be brought in the name of the County of Bucks, and all fines shall be paid to the County of Bucks."

Link to comment

Source: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://w...5.pdf&pli=1

 

Looking at the Bucks County Park ordinances, you could possibly get fined.

 

"No person shall: Discard, deposit, dump, litter or allow to blow away refuse of any kind or nature except by placing said refuse in containers provided for such purpose."

 

"No person shall install equipment or make any alterations or adjustments to existing equipment or facilities without the specific approval in writing of the Director."

 

And:

 

"Any person who violates any provision of this Ordinance shall, for every such offense, upon conviction thereof, in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) or more than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term of not more than thirty (30) days. All prosecutions shall be brought in the name of the County of Bucks, and all fines shall be paid to the County of Bucks."

 

That sounds like a standard litter ordinance.

 

I'd be more concerned about the other link that shows the Parks and Recreation department apparently prefers to take care of any geocaching in their parks themselves. It doesn't appear they ban it. But it does appear they don't want non-park employees placing geocaches.

Link to comment

I had contacted the park authority (email) about placing geocaches and they never replied. Many other caches are on county park properties, for what it's worth (and this bridge has a public (county) road going over it). I was under the impression that the parks had no direct policy. The PA state parks do, and allow geocaches if you clear them with park personnel, first.

 

FYI, here's the link to the offending cache: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...da-0c8d50b7dc48

 

As you can see, I made it very clear about the daytime parking situation.

 

<<and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term of not more than thirty (30) days.>>

 

Oh, No! - I'm going to the Big House!

 

Bill

Link to comment

As far as the local park politics go, I did notice that at least one web site for a county organization invites people to a "GeoVentures" caching program event, but includes this warning: "Please note: Geocaching is NOT permitted in any County park by outside groups, individuals or organizations. This program is sponsored by the Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation and will be monitored by the department itself." The Bold is in the original.

 

uhoh... get an attorney. i think there might be an associate of johnny cochran who could take up your defense.... or... accept your medicine and we'll see you in 9 years (7 with good behavior).

 

:)

Link to comment

uhoh... get an attorney. i think there might be an associate of johnny cochran who could take up your defense.... or... accept your medicine and we'll see you in 9 years (7 with good behavior).

 

:)

 

Actually, I am sure the good folks here would take up the "Free BikeBill77" movement. Again, I would be surprised if the original email from the detective was a trap. He may want to read you the riot act for wasting his time. But citing for littering in this situation would raise more issues than it is worth. Especially when the park's ordinances are kind of sloppy, particularly when applied to caching. Of course I have been wrong before, which takes us back to whether the Free BikeBill77 Movement would be strong enough to get you a pardon.

 

Apart from archiving the cache, it is the parks, rather than the police, who are important here. The question in my mind would be whether I wanted to let this one go and hope no one raises a further fuss about the other caches or use this as an opportunity to try to get the county parks to follow the state parks lead. Since caches have been published in the county parks, I assume the agency haa not contacted Groundspeak to demand that they stop listing caches in the parks. So the time might be ripe before any informal policy they have about caching is made more formal.

 

In my area, there is an active group with people experienced in dealing with the parks, who are knowledgeable about how different agencies have approached caching. If there is a similar group in your area, that would be a good place to start. And as I said before, I would contact other people with caches in the park and work together on the issue -- or collectively decide to ignore it.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment
Actually, I am sure the good folks here would take up the "Free BikeBill77" movement.

 

That was before he found out that the parks and recreation frown on non-staff placing geocaches. If he showed up now and got arrested we would laugh and point fingers. :)

 

i'd watch the episode of COPS for sure...

 

segway%20cops.jpg

Link to comment
Actually, I am sure the good folks here would take up the "Free BikeBill77" movement.

 

That was before he found out that the parks and recreation frown on non-staff placing geocaches. If he showed up now and got arrested we would laugh and point fingers. :)

 

And Mr. Repak might feel vindicated. But I will amend my original post to state that "some of the good folks here" might take up the cause. Of course I am not sure that threatening to organize a tourist boycott of Bucks county until they change their draconian ways would do that much good. It has not helped a host of others languishing in various jails and prisons. Maybe there is a LEO cacher in the area who could put in a good word for the kid (to me everyone is a kid).

 

My motto is always to avoid the police unless absolutely necessary (like at family gatherings). And since the issue is something that the police cannot resolve, then I would hit the archive button and take it from there. Or not.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment

That's a great spot for a cache! Its a shame that you will probably have to shut it down. I did the recommended internet search for Van Sant Covered Bridge, and the history of that place is awesome! I have some friends that will be making a trip to PA in a couple of weeks, and I'll be sure to bring it (the bridge) to their attention!

 

However... the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places, which is administered by the National Park Service, so I would guess that the probability of a cache being allowed on the bridge proper would be pretty slim.

Link to comment

That's a great spot for a cache! Its a shame that you will probably have to shut it down. I did the recommended internet search for Van Sant Covered Bridge, and the history of that place is awesome! I have some friends that will be making a trip to PA in a couple of weeks, and I'll be sure to bring it (the bridge) to their attention!

 

However... the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places, which is administered by the National Park Service, so I would guess that the probability of a cache being allowed on the bridge proper would be pretty slim.

 

While the NPS does not appear to administer the property, it is a good question about who is responsible for it. The Bucks County Parks do not list it under their properties. So the OP would definitely want to double check before approaching any agency. As an historical bridge, a cache on the bridge itself would have to conform to the guidelines. But I have seen caches placed very nearby covered bridges that are on the National Register.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment
However... the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places, which is administered by the National Park Service, so I would guess that the probability of a cache being allowed on the bridge proper would be pretty slim.

As such, it again raises the question of: Was adequate permission obtained?

 

You can guess my guess! :)

Link to comment

If the PD wanted you, they would come get you. There is no need for them to lure you into the station, they know who you are and where you live.

 

Either go pick up your cache and thus recover the log or place a new one under the bridge. Obama is tied up with the Gulf Coast for now and won't bother you.

Link to comment

Sometimes threads like this make me really think I'm putting too much leg work into the front end of gaining permission from the appropriate agency(ies) to place a cache where I want to place it. When really I could just slap one out there and then start a thread here and let everyone here on the back end do the research on where I should have asked permission from in the first place when the cache gets taken away etc.

Link to comment
Sometimes threads like this make me really think I'm putting too much leg work into the front end of gaining permission from the appropriate agency(ies) to place a cache where I want to place it. When really I could just slap one out there and then start a thread here and let everyone here on the back end do the research on where I should have asked permission from in the first place when the cache gets taken away etc.
No problem... we'd be glad to do your legwork for you. Post away!! :)
Link to comment

Sometimes threads like this make me really think I'm putting too much leg work into the front end of gaining permission from the appropriate agency(ies) to place a cache where I want to place it. When really I could just slap one out there and then start a thread here and let everyone here on the back end do the research on where I should have asked permission from in the first place when the cache gets taken away etc.

 

Yeah, i was kinda thinking the same thing.

Link to comment

The Bridge itself is part of a virtual cache providing a tour of some of the bridges in the area. So cachers have an opportunity to visit here in any event, at least until the virtual is archived. [insert rant about how virtual caches are a fun part of the game] Its on my list of things to do if we get anywhere near there next year.

Link to comment

If the PD wanted you, they would come get you. There is no need for them to lure you into the station, they know who you are and where you live.

 

Either go pick up your cache and thus recover the log or place a new one under the bridge. Obama is tied up with the Gulf Coast for now and won't bother you.

gotta agree. they already know all they need to know about you. i'd go get the cache and use this experience to educate them about caching.

Link to comment

As someone that lives in bucks county I can't believe you would do this. I just hope he doesn't tell higher authority, it'd ruin my life if caches in bucks county were banned. I'd have to drive to northhampton county or something. Sucks, I wanted to find that cache one day too. : (

Link to comment

woah, that's a terrible situation. and i'm not sure what i'd do. but i've gotten in trouble with the cops while out geocaching once. if they start questioning you, explain to them that you are geocaching, but don't show them the cache (if you've found it yet), so they don't take it (like what happened here). just say you were looking for it, and i'm sure they will just tell you to leave.

Link to comment

The Bridge itself is part of a virtual cache providing a tour of some of the bridges in the area. So cachers have an opportunity to visit here in any event, at least until the virtual is archived. [insert rant about how virtual caches are a fun part of the game] Its on my list of things to do if we get anywhere near there next year.

I wouldn't do that cache anyway. No offense to the owner but to not recognize the Schofield Ford covered bridge, the most historic of all them in the area, located in tyler state park only FIVE miles from the van sant bridge makes me not want to do anything with that cache.

Link to comment

[insert rant about how virtual caches are a fun part of the game]

Ni!

It can't be done.

Luckily, it already is done.

What is "it"?

 

The virtual at the bridge in question. It is already in place, so it is good until it is archived and disappears forever, which was the spot where my [rant] came in. Now that this is clarified, I can go back to wondering why someone would propose replacing a traditional cache at a location where permission has not been obtained and the police are holding the former container.

Link to comment

Go meet the detective. Carry some Let's Go Geocaching data sheets about geocaching. Explain the game and invite the whole department to attend the next event... or take them caching.

 

Looks like a great opportunity to establish ties and good will between cachers and cops.

 

I've done exactly that here in my hometown and as far as I know no cacher has ever had problems with the law here... not in regard to caching, anyway! :)

Link to comment

i don't leave the house without the geocaching brochures. I've had to give them to nosy neighbors, suspicious onlookers and nervous cops. They defuse the situation immediately.

 

I also tell them that every cache is placed by PERMISSION from the land owner, and if that is not the case, then they should contact the person who hid the cache.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 5
×
×
  • Create New...