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Homer_J_Simpson

"Coin Collectors" are stealing Geocoins

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Hello,

the last few month, I realized that someone goes to caches around my home coordinates, takes Geocoins out of them without logging them and without putting them in another cache.

 

I sometimes revisit some caches to discover the geocoins they are holding to get the Icon in my Profile Page. Sometimes, if the mission of the Coin or TB fits with my cache planning, I also take a TB or GC out to help it on its mission.

A few month ago, geocoins are beginning to vanish from the caches they are logged in. I think it is not related to new cachers who do not know about Trackables. A coin is dropped into a cache and a few days later it is gone. No entry in the logbook was made and the cache wasn't muggled. None of the Coins reappeared in an other cache. TBs and TravelExpress Coins f.Ex. are not affected, only GCs.

 

Some other cachers reported similar issues on their tours. The Phenomenon is located a few miles around my home coordinates, dropping TBs and GCs about 30km off my home koords and they are safe.

 

I planned to set off a few new coins myself but I do not want to loose them in the first days.

 

So I planned to send only a copy of them (which were not stolen) and keep the original. Each coin will be sent as a copy one time, if this copy gets lost, the original coin can be discovered in my collection but no other copy will be sent.

 

I want to ask if it is OK, that I send one copy while keeping the original coin. I heard that a few accounts have been banned because they were sending copies of their coin.

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I totally understand what you are saying - but unfortunately that is the risk you run with coins. I have had a few TB go missing and it is upsetting. The only way to ensure your coins are safe is not to send them out in the first place and just let them be discovered when you go to any caching events.

 

I personally do not like the idea of copies - I love finding a cache with a GC in it - I have found a few copies and it is really disappointing. I think you may find that it will go missing quicker than a proper coin. But obviosuly it is up to you. Good luck with them whatever you decide.

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Accounts are not banned for setting out copies. Many people hold on to the original and send out a "Proxy" instead. People interested in seeing the real coin are sometimes disappointed in finding a proxy. People interested in getting the icon are OK with it. Your proxy should be durable. At the least it should be laminated. Some people make beautiful proxies.

If someone sends out multiple copies, then the geocoin can be locked. Or if someone allows virtual logs to keep happening, deliberately, the geocoin (or Travel Bug) can be locked. Virtual logs are logs by people who never even saw the trackable in person, but got the tracking number from a paper list, or a photo online. Those logs should be deleted.

If the original ever does show up again, one of them should be called home. Either pull in the proxy or the original, by communicating with whoever finds it, and ask them to send it to you, or if it's the proxy, to destroy it, and keep the real one moving. One or the other, not both.

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It's sad to hear you have actually noted in your area coins getting logged into caches and disappearing without a trace only days later. So it's not just vacationers coming through, geocaching, and forgetting to log the coins out.... and apparently it's not just noobs who can't figure out the tracking system, although they could be your "coin collectors" while they figure out what they are supposed to do with them. :D:D

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It's kinda too bad that a cache owner can't tell who's got their caches on the 'watch' list. Sounds like somebody might be tracking these area caches and popping over soon after a coin is logged in.

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I've noticed the same thing in our area and I think I may know who the culprit is but can't actually catch the person.

 

For that reason I do proxies and I really don't care what anyone thinks about it. I have gone out of my way to:

 

1. Label them with "Proxy" at the end of the coin name on GC.com

2. Make them as cool to find as possible by making high quality images of the front and back and printing them myself. Attaching them to a heavy washer and encasing it in a coinment container.

 

Of about 30 I put out about eight months ago, one has gone missing the rest are traveling nicely. Only two logs out of a cumulative 100+ logs were negative. Far more were positive about the coin and how it looked. They actually fool a lot of people.

 

Those who throw a fit I really have to wonder what their motives really are because IMNSHO they are no different than moving a travel bug except you get the nice icons in your list.

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It's kinda too bad that a cache owner can't tell who's got their caches on the 'watch' list. Sounds like somebody might be tracking these area caches and popping over soon after a coin is logged in.

 

No need to use a watchlist -- build a PQ for caches within a certain radius that contain trackables. Or use a bookmark list with notifications on favorite caches. Remember, the tools that help the thieves are also used by the honest folks :o

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I want to ask if it is OK, that I send one copy while keeping the original coin. I heard that a few accounts have been banned because they were sending copies of their coin.

 

I have never heard of an account being banned for sending out copies. It's always a shame that people are selfish enough to steal the coins.

 

Yes, it's ok to release a copy, but be prepared to receive some flack from some people.

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The only case I can remember of Banning related to copies, is when people sent out MANY copies of their one coin. Or sent out "replicating" copies. Encouraging others to make more copies when they found it. But I think just the coins/tbs got locked, not users banned.

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I completely understand as there are a couple of caches near me that seem to continually have trackables go missing, I've got them on my watchlist and try to move any coins that people drop since it keeps happening within a day or so of them being dropped. I have no problem with proxies, found several and tried to help them along on their missions just like an original coin. If I ever do decide to send out any of my coins, it would be as a proxy since I don't want to have them stolen. Hopefully yours travel well if you send them out.

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I HATE GC thieves!!

 

I got rid the one in my area. Here is how I did it.

 

I placed a GC in the cache nearest to my home. I attached the GC via a long cable to the power lines running nearby.

 

I posted the GC drop and then waited by the cache.

 

Just as I thought, within 30 minutes a man arrived at the cache WITHOUT A GPS!!!

 

He went right to the the cache....opened it up...and ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP.

 

No more GC theif!

 

The hardest part of the scheme was hiding the body which I had not thought about before connecting the powerline to the GC.

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...

 

Just as I thought, within 30 minutes a man arrived at the cache WITHOUT A GPS!!!

 

He went right to the the cache....opened it up...and ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP.

 

No more GC theif!

 

The hardest part of the scheme was hiding the body which I had not thought about before connecting the powerline to the GC.

Aah.... you may have electrocuted a regular cacher. Coin thieves need GPSrs just as regular cachers do to find the booty and anybody can use the GoogleMaps feature to zoom in on an area without using a GPS. You'd better hide that body quick 'coz you may have screwed up!!

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...

 

Just as I thought, within 30 minutes a man arrived at the cache WITHOUT A GPS!!!

 

He went right to the the cache....opened it up...and ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP.

 

No more GC theif!

 

The hardest part of the scheme was hiding the body which I had not thought about before connecting the powerline to the GC.

Aah.... you may have electrocuted a regular cacher. Coin thieves need GPSrs just as regular cachers do to find the booty and anybody can use the GoogleMaps feature to zoom in on an area without using a GPS. You'd better hide that body quick 'coz you may have screwed up!!

 

Nah....it was the thief. Since he is gone no more GCs have been stolen.

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Thanks for the replies on my "problem". So according to Earthas statement, I was mistaken about the banned accounts.

For me, I will test a few coins to send them out as proxy, keeping the originals in my hands. But I will send only one proxy out, if this gets lost, the coin can only been discovered when someone meets me.

I think this will help.

 

But I will not put an electric wire trap to catch the thief, there are more painful alternatives, like bear traps or so (;-).

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i mostly have been releasing coins that are not rare, i paid $5 for, or coins i don't care about.

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to moniter a cache, a person could always set one of those digital "game" cameras...they have an IR flash so you can't see it, and take a series of pictures every time they detect movement. Place a coin, and see if it gets stolen. If you can, put it up in a way that it would catch their car too. Just my $.02. Only downside is this is the only way to track them....if you don't have a car/license plate, you have no way of telling who they are from the picture.

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I came to the forums today to see if this is becoming a bigger issue as I've noticed these days. I'm in Denver, CO, and GCs are going missing like crazy! I have looked around in many caches to try to find one (because I've never actually found one before) and I'll see one was just placed 2-5 days prior, and go out to find it. They have all been missing without any cacher to log they were there or to report they have retrieved it. I just recently dropped a GC I finally found in Alabama into a Premium member cache and it went missing within 2 days, with the next logger reporting that mine, and one I discovered and left in the cache were both missing. I'm really getting fed up with this. That coin I found was it's first release and so I moved it thousands of miles to drop here, just to end it's mission here. It's ridiculous.

Edited by liquidswar

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I'm starting to think that maybe I should stop "dropping" geocoins into the caches where I place them. That way, they at least stay out of the cache's inventory so that the coin collecting thieves don't even have a clue where to find them.

 

Maybe the website administrators could come up with a solution on this? Does anyone else have any ideas on how to save our geocoins from disappearing out of circulation?

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Does anyone else have any ideas on how to save our geocoins from disappearing out of circulation?

Don't drop trackables in urban caches. Drop them in ones out of the way, off the beaten path, and up in the mountains.

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I don't mean to sound like an elitist here, especially as I'm new, but I would think that dropping GC's in premium member only cache's would be a heck of a good start. If you care enough to buy a membership, odds are, you're into it for the community, not for the thievery. ;-D

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I don't mean to sound like an elitist here, especially as I'm new, but I would think that dropping GC's in premium member only cache's would be a heck of a good start. If you care enough to buy a membership, odds are, you're into it for the community, not for the thievery. ;-D

 

I thought so too, so I tried to only hide coins in premium caches. That doesn't work either, they still get stolen. If a true premium member found the cache, they would know how to log their find to keep it trackable and move it along. Instead, the coins just disappear off the grid.

 

These geocoins are worth about $10 each. For a coin collector thief to just pay $30 a year to become a premium member and get access to all these additional coins, it's quite a bargain for them. I'm not dropping coins into urban caches anymore, as the last person recommended. Or at least will be 3+ terrain difficulty or something they may not like so much.

 

By the way, I have seen a coin collector actually sign a log before. It's like there is a team of them. He just wrote his first name in HUGE letters to take up most of the space in the log roll, and then put a P.S. note saying, "Haha Kathy, I beat you to it!" A geocoin had been dropped in this 35mm film canister only 2 days earlier, so it had to be a smaller geocoin, and these people must have premium memberships to create alerts of caches that get trackables dropped into them. Anyway, all I can say is that log was the only one between mine and the last person to find the cache and drop their geocoin. That coin is still missing today. Just an example of how bad this problem is.

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I don't mean to sound like an elitist here, especially as I'm new, but I would think that dropping GC's in premium member only cache's would be a heck of a good start. If you care enough to buy a membership, odds are, you're into it for the community, not for the thievery. ;-D

At $3 a month membership dues are pretty miniscule.

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First, I want to clarify. Those people who steal GCs for their own collection, IMHO, are NOT real collectors. Real collectors buy an extra for themselves. I will not get into the debate on how to stop these people, but I can tell you this... if they want it they will find it. I would like to suggest to all real collectors, when you receive a coin in a trade, double check it is not activated, even though it may have come by a reputable collector. Sometimes they get them in a trade and don't look too. I have found several this way.

 

ok, just my 2 cents.

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