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I laid down my GPS and now it's gone


KBLAST
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So I drove many miles to do one of WVTim's amazing gadget cache series and loved every bit of it. Unfortunately the phenomenal weekend ended sadly when after completing the last cache of the trail, I stopped into the local establishment to use the restroom. I laid down my GPS (Garmin Oregon 600 I had just bought recently) and forgot to pick it up as I was leaving. I got all the way home before I realized I didn't have the GPS anymore (I didn't do anymore caching after finishing the trail).

 

I wasn't SURE where I left it until I called the establishment. The wonderful person who answered explained that a lady had called and said, "I found a GPS in the bathroom. Has anyone called missing one?" The store lady said, "No - can we have your number in case someone calls for it?" The lady said, "NO - you can't have my number!!!! I'll call back later tonight to see if anyone has claimed it." I gave the store lady my name and number. This was Monday (the GPS was taken on Sunday). It is now Wednesday and still nothing.

 

My question - what are my options/what do you think I should do? Please don't remind me how dumb it was to lay down my GPS and leave without it, I don't need any further shame there. I am keeping an eye on Ebay and the eastern West Virginia panhandle Craigslist. The lady at the store asked if I'd called the police yet, but did the lady REALLY steal the GPS? I mean, she found it just lying there... and I hadn't even thought to put my name and number on it anywhere (someone already suggested putting it inside the battery compartment next time). She also suggested contacting local pawn shops - but I've never dealt with pawn shops before and don't really know what to expect. I called Garmin and they had my serial number on file, so I have that.

 

Anyone have any further thoughts on this? I'm obviously really bummed, and in a perfect world the lady just lost track and forgot to call and will still call, but I'm not holding my breath.

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I hope that the gpsr finds its way back to you. It is something that I am sure has happened to a lot of us. One thing to consider in the future is to edit the startup screen to display contact information in case an honest person finds it. The startup.txt file in the garmin folder allows you to add the information and set how long it will display.

Edited by geodarts
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I hope that the gpsr finds its way back to you. It is something that I am sure has happened to a lot of us. One thing to consider in the future is to edit the startup screen to display contact information in case an honest person finds it. The startup.txt file in the garmin folder allows you to add the information and set how long it will display.

Sorry to hear you've lost your GPS. I've lost mine a couple of times, once in a store and once in the middle of the woods (it slipped out of my pocket and into the snow). In my case, fortunately, I managed to recover it both times, but I'm way too familiar with that panicky feeling.

 

In the case of your missing GPS, at least you know that someone found it and didn't steal it (she wouldn't have called the store if she had simply stolen it). If she lives in the area of the store, with any luck she'll show up one day soon and hand the GPS to someone in the store, or call the store as she promised to do. Either way, unfortunately, I can't think of much else you can do for now.

 

I followed geodarts' strategy and edited the startup screen on my Oregon 650. The first thing someone sees when they boot my GPS is my contact information. You'll find instructions on editing the startup screen here.

 

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll get your GPS back soon!

 

--Larry

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edit the startup screen to display contact information in case an honest person finds it.

 

That advice is of no help now, but at least useful for the future.

 

I've returned 2 gps units to people because the start up menu included a phone number.

 

I have another I picked up in the forest. I'd return it, but all that's on it are forest track logs and waypoints. I let the forest rangers know about it, and some other locals involved in the hiking/ hunting communities.

 

Via caller ID it should be possible to see the number that called

 

Caller ID is a paid add on. The restaurant may not have it, and that they didn't offer the phone number suggests that they don't, or they aren't giving the number up because the caller made it clear that they weren't interested in giving it out.

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Caller ID is a paid add on. The restaurant may not have it, and that they didn't offer the phone number suggests that they don't, or they aren't giving the number up because the caller made it clear that they weren't interested in giving it out.

 

OK. It's free here and my VDSL modem keeps the last 400 calls in memory anyway so it's easy to see who called given you know date/time unless they hide their number (99% of "private" numbers are marketeers anyway).

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Caller ID is a paid add on. The restaurant may not have it, and that they didn't offer the phone number suggests that they don't, or they aren't giving the number up because the caller made it clear that they weren't interested in giving it out.

 

OK. It's free here and my VDSL modem keeps the last 400 calls in memory anyway so it's easy to see who called given you know date/time unless they hide their number (99% of "private" numbers are marketeers anyway).

Most phone systems also allow callers to block their Caller ID information from going out, for privacy reasons. I know quite a few people who use this feature.

 

--Larry

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I agree that if the lady who found it was intending to steal it then she wouldn't have called the store.

 

Over here (UK) the police also deal with lost property, and it would be normal to report your GPS as lost, similarly someone finding a GPS would report the find to the Police, who will (hopefully) connect the two, so yes I would report it to the police.

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You can ask the store manager if they’d be willing to post a Found ad affixed to a cash register or somewhere easily seen by patrons. The lady who found the GPS may drop in again and see the ad.

+1

 

With a picture. "Lost hiking GPS. Oregon 600. Please call XXX-XXX-XXXX".

 

I include the word "Reward" in my Startup.txt, but have been fortunate to not have to decide how much the reward is. Yet. :anicute:

 

I photoshopped my contact info along an edge of the background image, so it's in view even after startup. And there's a label inside the battery compartment.

Edited by kunarion
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Thank you all for the suggestions! The store does NOT have caller ID. They are as upset with the lady as I am and were the ones who suggested I search pawn shops to try to "bust" her. I never knew about the startup.txt - if I get it back, I'll DEFINITELY be using that!!! I doubt the store would put up the sign, simply because the person who called in KNOWS they have it... a sign will most likely NOT remind them any more than walking into the store. I can ask, though. I will give the local police a call and let them know and see what they have to say. It won't hurt. Thanks again! I'll update this post if anything new happens.

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Sorry you've lost your GPS unit KBLAST. Try to have faith the person will call again and the store will get your number to her. She's already called once so that is a good sign. I would like to thank all here for the suggestion on the start up screen and to larryc43230 for providing the link how to do it. I have just updated mine. I had no idea you could do that either.

 

Best of luck KBLAST. Hope to come back later and read that you've got it back.

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but did the lady REALLY steal the GPS? I mean, she found it just lying there...

In most states, if you find something, you are required to make an effort to return it to the owner. If you know who it belongs to and you do not return it, you have stolen it.

 

My Niece forgot a tablet on a store counter. She was able to find out who had it, but the person who "found" it refused to return it. I guess she felt it was finders keepers.

 

My niece got her tablet back when the police pointed out to the finder she could be arrested for theft if she didn't return it.

 

It this case, I'm wondering if the person who "found" your GPSr didn't want to give her phone number, because she was afraid the store would keep it if you weren't found. Maybe she would give it back to you, but would like to be the one to keep it if you are not located. Otherwise, I'm not sure why she would have bothered to call at all.

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The startup.txt file in the garmin folder allows you to add the information and set how long it will display.

 

This is excellent information. Thanks for posting it! I'll definitely be adding the details to my Garmin start-up screen.

 

I include both my phone number and my geocaching screen name. I figure the odds are best that it will be left at a geocache, and found by a fellow geocacher. If not, the finder can call me anyway, but I don't have to tie the phone number in with my real name that way.

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I find the story a bit weird. If I find something in a store I leave it with the store keeper. I wouldn't take it home as it takes one more step to return it to it's owner. On the other hand, why call the store and then not leave contact info?

 

If the "finder" has knowledge of GPS's maybe she can hook it up to a computer and read the tracks and WPs as they may lead to where you live.

 

Anyway, let's hope you get your 600 back.

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I find the story a bit weird. If I find something in a store I leave it with the store keeper. I wouldn't take it home as it takes one more step to return it to it's owner. On the other hand, why call the store and then not leave contact info?

 

If the "finder" has knowledge of GPS's maybe she can hook it up to a computer and read the tracks and WPs as they may lead to where you live.

 

Anyway, let's hope you get your 600 back.

I find it just as weird as you do. I don't know if she took it, then when she got home she had a change of heart, and then wanted to keep things in her control so she could change her mind again, or if it's more like the scenario mentioned in an earlier comment where the lady didn't want the store to call her to get it if they didn't find the owner. At any rate, she still hasn't called the store back. I still have a glimmer of hope that she just got busy and didn't remember to call the store back, or maybe she was just waiting a "reasonable amount of time" to call back and if no one had claimed it, she could keep it, or something like that. Here's hoping!

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I recently found a GPSr left at an event I held, if it were not for the information displayed on the opening screen I would have had to do a lot of emails to try and find the owner. I have also lost my first GPSr and it was heart breaking. It's a hard thing to swallow, but I think that many of us have lost one GPSr for one reason or another...it's part of getting those Geocaching Stripes....it's a hard lesson learned, but hopefully those that have lost theirs put them on lanyards and list their contact info. That doesn't mean there won't be someone not so honest person that will do the right thing...but it definitely ups your odds of getting it returned to you.

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Given it's value, I would file a report with the police. A couple of years ago I had a kayak stolen, reported it, then started checking pawn shops. The first one I went to said that they are required to check local police stolen property reports daily. I never did get the kayak back. It was not anywhere near the value of you GPS. Good luck, hope you get it back.

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The woman who found it is a thief, no question. I was lucky the one time I left mine on the ground at a geocache site. It happened to be very close to my home. I went back two hours later and the finder had left a note on the ground with his contact info. I made contact and he returned it. I gave him a reward. He admitted that he was hoping that note would blow away and he would not get my call, but he was just honest enough.

 

As for the police, you should report the lost item and ask the officer to enter the serial number into NCIC if you have it. There is definitely a field where they can do that. It's up to them whether to take the trouble. If it shows up in a pawn shop, an officer can search it. Some cities have detectives or other officers check pawn shops regularly for stolen items. Many, perhaps most, pawnbrokers are honest and will report suspected stolen items to police. Even if the police don't regularly check the shops, an officer would probably check the serial number in NCIC if a pawnbroker asked them to.

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