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Taken to the police station?


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Hi, the other day i was geocaching with my brother and friend and were apporached by a cop, who said "who is coming with me?", we had no idea he was a cop at this stage and were confused, he ended up telling us he was one, and snatched the cache from us and looked through it thinking we were there to deal drugs or it was a hidden stash, he then made us go to the local station and took our details.

We were also told to expect being caught by police again.

 

anyway just wondering if this has only happened to us, if this has happened to any of you fellow cachers please tell us your story :)

 

thanks, TrynaFindaCache

Edited by TrynaFindaCache
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I'm not going to pretend to know how the law works down under. I do know that the encounters I have had with Law Enforcment were no where near this negative. Usually I just explain what I am doing and they are off. You are not breaking any laws by searching on public property.

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... he then made us go to the local station and took our details.

Surely you could have just said "No". How can you be arrested for picking something harmless up?

Perhaps you're not in the UK though. Other countries have "police state" laws.

 

Yes, it looks like he's in Austrailia. That's like the same thing, basically. :ph34r:

 

Not "taken in", but I was interogated by the entire first shift of the Clark, New Jersey Police Department for 10 minutes, and they blocked my car in on a dead-end with mulitple squad cars. They were actually looking for a robbery suspect in the area, but I was it for a little while there.

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A week or so ago I pulled into a parking lot and two police cars were already parked here. I figured I'd at least get watched as I searched a large evergreen for a bison tube, but about 2 minutes into my search they left. Must have run out of donuts.

Edited by edscott
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A few days ago we were looking for a cache within 20' of several police. My wife was worried but they didn't pay any attention to us.

 

Police, Sheriff, and one Constable have shown up several times while our group was on the hunt. I would say that at least half the time, they just wanted to make sure we were alright. A few did want to know what we were doing. Explaining, without hiding any of the facts, sometimes gained their interest. A couple or three of them just shook their heads as they walked away... :unsure: At no time have we ever had problems or felt threatened by law enforcement.

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A week or so ago I pulled into a parking lot and two police cars were already parked here. I figured I'd at least get watched as I searched a large evergreen for a bison tube, but about 2 minutes into my search they left. Must have run out of donuts.

 

They may have thought that you were working for internal affairs and were doing a lousy job of watching them. :P

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Once I parked in an unusual spot to look for a cache, and when I returned to the car a policeman was waiting for me, wondering what I was doing. He then called another cop, who questioned me again. They had saw the car parked there for a bit, and could not figure out where I was, or why it was there. Since the rear bumper had came off of the car a week before, perhaps that was part of the suspicion. :rolleyes: The second officer had a vague idea about caching, but kept on insisting that it was used by dealers to move drugs, or by other people to move stolen items. Everything that I said to the contrary, he said the opposite or thought up of another negative scenario. So, I started to agree with him and mentioned the connection to a few bomb scares, and possible "dead drop" sites used by spies. At that point they lost interest in me being a suspect in anything and left. :D

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i was geocaching with my brother and friend and were apporached by a cop, who said "who is coming with me?", we had no idea he was a cop at this stage and were confused, he ended up telling us he was one, and snatched the cache from us and looked through it thinking we were there to deal drugs or it was a hidden stash, he then made us go to the local station and took our details.

That’s strange. Did he have an official police car or a badge?

 

I’ve been approached by police, but it was a uniformed officer in a patrol car. They sometimes monitor problem areas, and it may be better to be approached by a cop than by whoever they’re watching for. I’ve since always brought some backup paperwork (cache descriptions), just in case.

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I have been approached by the police on several occasions... I actually think I have been confronted by all levels - State Patrol, Deputy Sheriff, and City Rent-A-Cop. All have been curious (and very courteous), all have asked questions - Some knew about caching and some didn't. All were perfectly understanding and nobody gave me any trouble what-so-ever. I have heard more than one story about officers who actually helped to find the cache, once they were told what was going on.

 

In any event, as stated before, I'm not going to pretend to know Aussie Law or procedures, but if your story happened to me in the U.S., I would simply insist on knowing what I was being charged with... if there is no answer... there's no trip "downtown," so to speak.

 

I think what you encountered is a rarity, and certainly not the norm. So sorry to hear about your bad experience - hope it doesn't soil your view of caching! :(

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We've had many very positive meetings with police.....we educated quite a few in the " old days ".

We found one at a New Mexico State Police station....hidden by the captain it was an ammo can painted like a New Mexico state police car.

Sorry about your experience.......surely this approach by police is not normal " down under ".

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We have been approached by LEO's before, but after explaining to them what we were doing and showing them the GPS, they seemed fairly cool about it (I swear, when I explain it, it sounds more like a nerd affair than the real exploration that it is). I also have a pack of trail cards that I will one day get to hand out to someone who is asking about it.

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I am one of those who have actually had the police help me find the cache and were delighted to be asked to join the hunt. Every year when I organize a geocaching event I hand out slips of poster board with the following on it to be placed in the windshield.

 

GEOCACHE RETRIEVAL VEHICLE

The driver of this vehicle is involved in a Geocaching activity. This may include off-road retrieval of caches and locating USGS geodetic survey markers. This vehicle is parked here temporarily, and the driver is nearby.

For more information on Geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com

 

If you want the actual color file I will be glad to send it to you. I just don't now of any way to place it in this response. I also have an educational notice that I hand out to police and police stations that shows different kinds of caches that might be found by them and explains what they are for. Again, if you would like them, e-mail me.

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I am one of those who have actually had the police help me find the cache and were delighted to be asked to join the hunt. Every year when I organize a geocaching event I hand out slips of poster board with the following on it to be placed in the windshield.

 

GEOCACHE RETRIEVAL VEHICLE

The driver of this vehicle is involved in a Geocaching activity. This may include off-road retrieval of caches and locating USGS geodetic survey markers. This vehicle is parked here temporarily, and the driver is nearby. There may, or may not be a spare GPS in the glove box or under the seat.

For more information on Geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com

 

If you want the actual color file I will be glad to send it to you. I just don't now of any way to place it in this response. I also have an educational notice that I hand out to police and police stations that shows different kinds of caches that might be found by them and explains what they are for. Again, if you would like them, e-mail me.

I'm not so sure my suggestion would be a real improvement or not.

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GEOCACHE RETRIEVAL VEHICLE

The driver of this vehicle is involved in a Geocaching activity. This may include off-road retrieval of caches and locating USGS geodetic survey markers. This vehicle is parked here temporarily, and the driver is nearby.

For more information on Geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com

 

In my opinion if you're going to display this in your car you may as well just put a sign up that says -

 

"Driver away from vehicle a while, Please help yourself to my stereo/tyres/battery"

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I will guess that you are fairly young. Police began treating me differently when I got older than them.

 

yeh, i was 18 and brother and friend are 17

Is it legal there for the police to take you into custody and bring you to the station without a reasonable belief that a crime had been committed? Where were you, and what time of day was it?

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I've only encountered police while caching twice. Granted, I'm lucky in the sense that a local cacher used to work for the Sheriff's office. One time, I was with her and she knew the person and we chatted for a little bit and then went to go get our FTF (in Cottage Grove, OR). The other time, I was out by myself at night on a rural road, and the sheriff pulled up and asked, "Are ya caching?" And I said "yes," and he proceeded to ask me if I knew the aforementioned local cacher.

 

I also know that she and some other cachers got a police boat escort back from a terrain 5 boating cache when their raft got a hole in it...

 

so if you're in Lane County, OR; the sheriffs are quite cacher friendly apparently!

 

We never got stopped by police caching in any other states, so I don't have any other stories...

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I've had a half-dozen geocaching encounters with law enforcement, and all of them went well...even the time when I was "caught" lurking around in the dark.

 

Veering off topic, my favorite police story happened in the early 1980s when I was doing a research project. After getting the information I needed from the municipal building's zoning office, I discovered I had locked my keys inside my car.

 

I went to the adjoining police station, and a veteran officer came out with a special unlocking tool -- a long, thin blade with a hook at the end (a "Thin Jim"?). After 10 unsuccessful minutes, he went back to the station and re-emerged with a young teenager who probably was doing community service time.

 

The kid had a coat hanger and opened my car door in about 15 seconds.

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I will guess that you are fairly young. Police began treating me differently when I got older than them.

 

yeh, i was 18 and brother and friend are 17

Is it legal there for the police to take you into custody and bring you to the station without a reasonable belief that a crime had been committed? Where were you, and what time of day was it?

well, he didnt force us, and he just said meet me at the police station in 5 minutes, which we did seeing as he had written my number plate down, i think by the end they were actually intrigued about the whole geocaching thing. And im guessing that they could have heard about dealings going on around there. It was at this geocache: A Sea Change BLuff, it is actually a really nice place and if i recall correctly we actually went back there to eat our Subway for dinner :), it was around 7pm i think

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I was cuffed, put in a police car and hauled off to jail where i served 12 days because the courts were shut down due to riots in other jails over SB1070. the cache originally didn't have any issues with the property owner but was later sold to the city which designated it as a zero tolerance for any crime[including trespassing]

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I was cuffed, put in a police car and hauled off to jail where i served 12 days because the courts were shut down due to riots in other jails over SB1070. the cache originally didn't have any issues with the property owner but was later sold to the city which designated it as a zero tolerance for any crime[including trespassing]

thats pretty harsh

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In any event, as stated before, I'm not going to pretend to know Aussie Law or procedures, but if your story happened to me in the U.S., I would simply insist on knowing what I was being charged with... if there is no answer... there's no trip "downtown," so to speak.

 

 

Unfortunately in the UK we have the Anti-terrorism act where you can be detained without a reason being given. There's several examples of people (not geocaching) being arrested and not told why just because they were in the wrong place, a woman cycling along some docks is an example I remember. Plus a Labour party member heckling at a party conference was detained under the terrorism act, for which there was outrage as you can expect. i.e. It has become a lazy reason for police to use to detain someone they don't like the look of.

 

That being said I've never been confronted by the police when caching.

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GEOCACHE RETRIEVAL VEHICLE

The driver of this vehicle is involved in a Geocaching activity. This may include off-road retrieval of caches and locating USGS geodetic survey markers. This vehicle is parked here temporarily, and the driver is nearby.

For more information on Geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com

 

In my opinion if you're going to display this in your car you may as well just put a sign up that says -

 

"Driver away from vehicle a while, Please help yourself to my stereo/tyres/battery"

 

The fact that the driver is away from the vehicle is self evident from the fact they aren't sitting in the car. The notice says "the driver is nearby" means as a target for theft this car is probably less good than one in a car park somewhere.

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At this stage in life (the post-law school phase), I would want an articulation of probable cause. But I had an experience like this when I was 19. It was a good learning experience on how not to act when questioned by a cop.

Couldn't agree with you more!!

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Hi, the other day i was geocaching with my brother and friend and were apporached by a cop, who said "who is coming with me?", we had no idea he was a cop at this stage and were confused, he ended up telling us he was one, and snatched the cache from us and looked through it thinking we were there to deal drugs or it was a hidden stash, he then made us go to the local station and took our details.

We were also told to expect being caught by police again.

 

anyway just wondering if this has only happened to us, if this has happened to any of you fellow cachers please tell us your story :)

 

thanks, TrynaFindaCache

 

I have been stopped all together about 30 times by cops sometimes during the day, but most of the time in the middle of the night as late as 2 am looking for a FTF they have all been cool as soon as I show them my PS they just say have fun and walk away.

 

Scubasonic

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Hi, the other day i was geocaching with my brother and friend and were apporached by a cop, who said "who is coming with me?", we had no idea he was a cop at this stage and were confused, he ended up telling us he was one, and snatched the cache from us and looked through it thinking we were there to deal drugs or it was a hidden stash, he then made us go to the local station and took our details.

We were also told to expect being caught by police again.

 

anyway just wondering if this has only happened to us, if this has happened to any of you fellow cachers please tell us your story :)

 

thanks, TrynaFindaCache

 

I've been questioned by police at least half a dozen times while geocaching. Only once did the guy run my driver's license and my vehicle license. I don't break the law while geocaching so I don't worry about law enforcement.

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Never had this problem... but it worries me sometimes when I go geocaching with my 4 yr old daughter... what do people think when they see a grown up man with a little girl in the bushes....

Or how about night caching when one or several people are running around a cemetery with flashlights attached to their heads. Suspicious? Naahh!

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I had an animal control officer question me. I saw him go by, staring at me.

Then, about 10 minutes later (I was on a level 4 difficulty, which I didn't find) he passed me going the other way. Brake lights and a u-turn prevailed.

I walked to the road and told him what I was doing. At first he seemed not to believe, then I offered to go get my gps and some papers out of the car. He then actually laughed and said something to the effect that no one could make that up.

His interest piqued, he started asking questions, so I went to the car and got my gps as it was a better example than I could verbally give.

As I was not to far from a fenced in area, he explained that I looked a little "different" sitting off the side of the road on a dirt path, examining metal objects (cache is a magnetic micro). He didn't mention the suspicious looks of my ugly winter beater, a 1991 Plymouth Sundance. Gotta admit, if I saw that Plymouth sitting on the side of the road by my house, I would be more than a little concerned. lol

 

I've had lots of looks from law enforcement officers, but this is the only time one actually questioned me. I'm glad he believed me, as it would have ruined my day if he had put me in a shock collar and threw me in the pound.

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In California.....we get stopped daily.

 

Twice we were held at gunpoint until the Law Enforcement Officer was confident that we were "good" people.

Our respectful answers to all questions normally result in a " have a nice day".

 

Once, the Officer wanted us to continue searching until we found the geocache,....so he could see what everyone was looking for.

 

Perhaps the placement was questionable. We tend to avoid questionable areas (or we ask the security guards to help us search).

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he then made us go to the local station and took our details.

 

thanks, TrynaFindaCache

...and we all know how painful that can be :blink:

I hope he gave your details back :lol:

 

I've had maybe a dozen encounters with LEO's over the years while geocaching and never had a negative experience. I've worked in several different careers where I had to put on a friendly, harmless appearance to the public so even though I can look a little scruffy I guess I look pretty non-threatening when talking to police or landowners. On the other hand, I can use the scruffiness to look like the craziest, most unstable person in the area if I want people to stay away from me. I use that mostly in the outer bouroughs of NYC :anibad:

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Never had this problem... but it worries me sometimes when I go geocaching with my 4 yr old daughter... what do people think when they see a grown up man with a little girl in the bushes....

Or how about night caching when one or several people are running around a cemetery with flashlights attached to their heads. Suspicious? Naahh!

 

..depends..are you naked when you have those flashlights on your head...that would be a bit suspicious

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I had an animal control officer question me. I saw him go by, staring at me.

...At first he seemed not to believe, then I offered to go get my gps and some papers out of the car. He then actually laughed and said something to the effect that no one could make that up.

When he said that he didn't know what this ten-year old activity was, did you laugh and say something to the effect that nobody could make that up, either?

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As the OP is from Australia, I'm truly surprised nobody has compared him to the jolly swagman in Waltzing Mathilda. I expect he should have shouted at the troopers "you'll never take me alive" and plunged humself into the nearest billabong.

 

The d@nmed song has been running through my head simce this topic started.

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So early on in our caching adventures we were out with friends seeing how many caches we could get in one night. Well someone spotted us and call the police. As we are getting ready to leave (2 cars with wives in one and husbands in the other) on to our next cache a cop walks up out of now where with gun drawn and as he does that 5 cruisers surround us and shortly after a police helicopter flies over head. They have our husbands get out and start patting them down and running all our licenses. Us wives were asked how long we'd been in the area and if we'd seen anyone else around because we weren't who they were looking for. Turns out the caller told the police they saw 2 guys with guns trying to steal a catalytic converter off some truck that was parked close to the cache. We showed the cops the cache. When the whole thing was over the cops were laughing at the whole thing and we changed some of our caching habits and started carrying around the guide to geocaching provided on the website. We still have encounters with the police but that was the scariest moment we have ever had. Strangely enough it hasn't stopped us (maybe part of that comes from living in Cali). We still enjoy it and are now starting to place them ourselves.

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As the OP is from Australia, I'm truly surprised nobody has compared him to the jolly swagman in Waltzing Mathilda. I expect he should have shouted at the troopers "you'll never take me alive" and plunged humself into the nearest billabong.

 

The d@nmed song has been running through my head simce this topic started.

...and you just had to share the happiness, right? Thanks.

 

 

 

:laughing: Waltzing Matilda,Waltzing Matilda...

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I have been stopped all together about 30 times by cops sometimes during the day, but most of the time in the middle of the night as late as 2 am looking for a FTF they have all been cool as soon as I show them my PS they just say have fun and walk away.

 

Scubasonic

PS? The only thing my brain came up with wouldn't have them walking away - Police Special.

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I have been stopped all together about 30 times by cops sometimes during the day, but most of the time in the middle of the night as late as 2 am looking for a FTF they have all been cool as soon as I show them my PS they just say have fun and walk away.

 

Scubasonic

PS? The only thing my brain came up with wouldn't have them walking away - Police Special.

 

 

Pooper Scooper.

 

Wave one of them around and most people walk away.

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