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EssieandtheBears

Cache thieves

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Hello all,

Just wondering is cache stealing common by other cachers? My first cache has been taken and it was an unusual setup/container which you’d have to be looking for to find (off path, very well hidden/disguised), so it’s really very unlikely it was taken by a muggle. 

 

It’s obviously a risk you take when placing a cache but it’s still pretty disheartening, especially if it’s been taken by a fellow geocacher. I’ve replaced my cache now but it’s not as it was. Has this happened to other people (suspected geocacher cache thief) - and how do you try to prevent your cache from being taken?

 

(new poster and cacher so please be nice!)

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My first cache was muggled repeatedly. I severely underestimated the abuse the location took from skateboarders, and once a blow from a skateboard knocked it out of position, the camouflage was ineffective and it was easily spotted (and muggled). Eventually the skateboarders destroyed the wooden steps the cache was hidden on. The city rebuilt the steps, but they were destroyed again within a couple weeks. The city gave up, and there are no longer any steps there.

 

Anyway, I learned a lot trying to maintain that cache. But ultimately I had to archive it. And my later caches were much better, thanks to all I had learned.

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You say there's "usually lots of puggle walkers around so stealth is needed."      What's a puggle ?

If stealth is needed, you don't feel maybe it could have been a muggle  ?  

 

We're often amazed where non-cachers "find" caches.  Some miles into the woods.  Here, it's hunters mostly.

Odds are,  that great spot we pick is popular with a few others as well.  :)

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24 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

What's a puggle ?

 

image.png.b1d96568b708b08b275552621e2ab4b1.png

 

25 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

We're often amazed where non-cachers "find" caches.  Some miles into the woods.  Here, it's hunters mostly. 

Odds are,  that great spot we pick is popular with a few others as well.  :)

 

My toughest hide (a T4 bordering on T4.5) involves a climb of about 120 metres up irregular stone steps then several hundred metres of trackless bush-bashing through thick scrub to reach GZ atop the cliffs. When placing the cache, I noticed the remains of a muggle campfire (with mandatory broken beer bottle) about thirty metres away. Another spot I was looking at in the same general area that was even more of a bush-bash had a stone cairn (and another beer bottle) at the end of it. So yes, muggles are just as likely to find an out-of-the-way spot as I am, which is why I generally hide my cache a bit away from the view, waterfall or whatever that spot's attraction is.

 

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1 hour ago, EssieandtheBears said:

Hello all,

Just wondering is cache stealing common by other cachers? My first cache has been taken and it was an unusual setup/container which you’d have to be looking for to find (off path, very well hidden/disguised), so it’s really very unlikely it was taken by a muggle. 

 

It’s obviously a risk you take when placing a cache but it’s still pretty disheartening, especially if it’s been taken by a fellow geocacher. I’ve replaced my cache now but it’s not as it was. Has this happened to other people (suspected geocacher cache thief) - and how do you try to prevent your cache from being taken?

 

(new poster and cacher so please be nice!)

I'd be much more likely to suspect a muggle instead of another geocacher. Yes, geocachers steal stuff. I know this first hand. One was made to bring the container of stolen stuff back to my house. Another was busted with all the things stolen from local caches (his mom swore he'd never do anything like that, then I showed her the very large, buried container in her back yard full of stolen items). Even so, I'm much much more likely to suspect a muggle when a cache goes missing.

 

Like many others who have and will post on this thread, I thought I found a great cache spot, only to have the container stolen. I thought it would be a great spot-out in the woods, no one around. A friend reminded me how much some people like to explore!

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It's not always that muggles found their way to an extremely obscure location and discovered an extremely well-hidden cache by accident. Sometimes it's that they saw a cacher rooting around in said location and returned after they had left to see what they were doing. 

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52 minutes ago, TheLimeCat said:

Sometimes it's that they saw a cacher rooting around in said location and returned after they had left to see what they were doing. 

 

Sometimes it's a hangout.  Looks empty this morning, fills with rowdy people at other times.  If there's a cool "hidden" clearing in the woods, and trash there, yeah.  It's a hangout.

 

As mentioned, even Geocachers take containers.  Some don't know what Geocaching is all about.  But who knew that there may ever be an issue when the rigid requirements are to sign up anonymously and find stuff?! B)

 

When I see the "perfect" place to hide a cache, and note that there isn't a cache in this perfect spot for a cache, I sometimes place a container with a pencil, slip of paper, and a small inviting piece of Swag.  And I leave it like that for weeks or months, working on the cache page, making camo adjustments, checking coords, without submitting the cache page.  If anyone so much as touches it when it's not even officially listed, I either won't activate it in that spot, or I re-think the hide style.  If nobody finds it in its unactivated state, it's looking more like a suitable spot to me. :P

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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27 minutes ago, TheLimeCat said:

It's not always that muggles found their way to an extremely obscure location and discovered an extremely well-hidden cache by accident. Sometimes it's that they saw a cacher rooting around in said location and returned after they had left to see what they were doing. 

Yep. :)

Here, most of the really awkward ones, where you'd need to access a cache in a small apace in full view of non-cachers is where many go bye-bye.

 - But with no snow, the other 2/3rds and a few others didn't notice the hunter high up in a tree stand for over a week, watching them access a cache directly below.

Climbing stand,  apparently no one looks up anymore.   :lol:    No one spotted a tell-tale ladder, or mentioned the guy in their log.

He left a note in the ammo can's log "the lady with the blue coat chased a nice buck right to me when she walked out. Thanks!" his last day there.     :D

We don't always get a pleasant reaction with hunters in stands, seeing/hearing us walking by in the woods... 

The sound of an ammo can opening/closing carries a bit too. 

 

 

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Honestly, it's much more likely to  be a muggle than a cacher : looking at the map your cache is in a small woodland very close to many houses,  there won't only be dog walkers galore but also birdwatchers,  walkers, and children playing ( I don't know about your local schools, but last week was half term here , and the weather was dry, so I bet the little wood got a lot of use)

 

If your cache had some intriguing outer casing (and it sounds like it did ...) and it was capable of being left in view rather than tucked away somewhere, it probably got spotted by someone curious who investigated and broke it. It's a shame,  especially as it is your first hide , but please don't be downhearted ! These things happen to all cache setters, the best thing to do is learn from them and think about how to outwit the muggles.

 

When replacing a muggled cache  it sometimes makes sense to shift the hide a bit, especially if it was by something distinctive . I've seen a cache page where someone replace a micro by a gate post several times , it became obvious some local  muggle  was taking it each time,  but the setter persisted in putting a new pot back in the self same spot to be muggled again ... madness ! If 'your' tree is truly distinctive, or by  a fence corner ,seat, post, or path junction or  some other landmark that will help  the same muggle find the  tree again to see if the thing they took  has magically re-appeared, move it.    As long as your move doesn't exceed 161m , or encroach on  the 161m  radius area of another  cache, you can change the co-ordinates on your cache page yourself by making a 'change co-ordinates'   from the drop  down list of choices when you 'log geocache' (this only shows on your owned caches).

 

Finally, if you think it really could be a cacher who damaged it, you could make the cache premium only for a while: that would stop any total beginner (who was trying the game out for free , and might not understand the proper way to  treat a cache) from  messing with it, and you can also see the audit trail of who looked at the page online (doesn't record visits by app,  but it might reassure you)

 

Reading the logs, your cache was really well received , don't give up. Think like a muggle to try and avoid losing any more caches to them . Good luck .

 

 

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On 6/1/2019 at 1:53 AM, EssieandtheBears said:

Just wondering is cache stealing common by other cachers?

 

It happens from time to time, but no, the vast majority of geocachers understand that stealing is wrong.

 

Muggles outnumber us by a few billion, though, so odds are that if a cache goes missing, it's by someone who didn't know why that little box was there.  Animals can also remove containers.  So can wind or water.

 

That said, we did have a few caches systematically removed and stolen by some bright light a few months ago, and they were most decidedly a rogue geocacher.  (They didn't log their finds, so they are apparently both dishonest AND cowardly.  But they left notes that translated to "Geocaching is litter" and took the trouble to replace ammo cans with pill bottles, so they knew what they were doing.) 

 

So it can happen.  But just because a container grew legs, does not by itself prove a geocacher took it.

 

As for what I did for that series: I archived the series they had vandalized, removed the containers that hadn't been stolen yet, and regretfully made the other caches in the area premium member only - something I've avoided for twelve years now.  Perhaps at some point we'll make them open to all members again, but I want to make sure the thief has moved on first.

Edited by hzoi
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7 hours ago, hzoi said:

But they left notes that translated to "Geocaching is litter" and took the trouble to replace ammo cans with pill bottles, so they knew what they were doing.

 

Apparently "Geocaching is litter" translates to "Oooo, an ammo can. Yoink!" :laughing:

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11 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Apparently "Geocaching is litter" translates to "Oooo, an ammo can. Yoink!" :laughing:

 

Indeed.

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We had one stolen last week - it was a painted/stencilled lock'n'lock, under a little foot bridge. Funny thing is - they only took the container, and left the logbook and the pens piled up neatly where it was. There was also a syringe nearby.... we just archived it.

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5 minutes ago, lee737 said:

We had one stolen last week - it was a painted/stencilled lock'n'lock, under a little foot bridge. Funny thing is - they only took the container, and left the logbook and the pens piled up neatly where it was. There was also a syringe nearby.... we just archived it.

Box to store syringes in.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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