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A (POLICE) Note of Caution


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We (Groundspeak) received the following note and thought posting it would be appropriate. Please be careful out there:


"To Whom it may Concern;

This is just a friendly message that one of your cache pieces caused a police response that included several officers today.


A citizen reported to police that she found a suspicious devise that looked like a "bomb" on public property. It was a green military ammo can that had the web site "www.geocaching.com painted on it. It was in a park area that is used by many people including children riding horses on various riding trails. We treated it as if it were a bomb until the investigation proved otherwise.


Is it possible for you to caution your membership, who plant these game pieces, to consider that in light of the attack on September 11, citizens who find them in public areas and do not know what they are, will report their find to the police. I'm sure you would agree that the police don't need to be tied up on these type of investigations when we are streached so thin for other priorty calls.


Any assistance you could render regarding this concern would be greatly appreacieted.


Thank you,


Sgt. Tom Carmody, San Diego Police Department"



Happy Geocaching!






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Originally posted by dthigpen:

Being in the San Diego area, I'm wondering if he mentioned which park or cache this involved? If you have any further information it'd be appreciated.




Ever see how police ''investigate'' a suspicious devise? The cache is now destroyed. Soon, Cachers will report DNF and it will be archived or replaced.


The question though is bigger than a single cache. How many police departments have no idea about Geocaching? How do we help them with their investigation?? Should we even be concerned???


This cache was well marked as the officer states it was a ''ammo can that had the web site "www.geocaching.com painted on it.'' So what more could have been done? Or again, should anything be done?? I'd love to hear a good solution. I'd like to help but don't want to give way to the fears of everyone. Someone once said, ''Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you don't have enemies.'' icon_rolleyes.gif


Bill of Green Achers


"Happy Trails make Happy Tails."

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Well.. In all honesty, I was just worried about which cache to take off my todo list =P. I've spoken with people who have actually had run-ins with on-duty police in the area while geocaching and ended up taking them to the geocache site and showing them the cache and whatnot and police officers thinking it was a great idea, ammo can and all, and understood why we would use ammo cans. It's sad that the current state of affairs are causing paranoia and fear to drive social reforms that deprive us of the inherent rights on which this country was founded upon; but I suppose that's just the curse that we will have to live with for the time being. Guess we need to start camoflauging & hiding our caches better.



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Maybe, just maybe...if the green ammo boxes were painted yellow or any neon color, would they still be mistaken as an explosive device? Or, what if...you write in big bold bright colors across and and all over the ammo box--"NOT A BOMB", or "JUST A CONTAINER FILLED WITH TOYS, TRINKETS AND THINGAMAJIGS"




Have GPS, Will Travel.

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I had a local reporter for the paper asking me about geocaching. At the end of the conversation, he stated that he didnt feel that anyone should be doing this and that he will not allow any mention of if in the paper as he feels that it is an open target for terrorists to put a bomb or anthrax etc. in. Way overboard on the paranoinia!


It's not a sport unless there is something dead in the back of the truck when you get home.

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I've thought about this topic long before this thread. We're in a tight spot fellas. Dammed if we do, dammed if we don't. It seems to me that no matter what we do there will still be frightened people out there...and rightfully so. I don't see a solution to this one. I sure hope it doesn't turn out bad for us icon_confused.gif


God was my co-pilot but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him.


[This message was edited by Ruprex on December 09, 2002 at 03:52 PM.]

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Just thought I'd throw in my 2cents worth. I'm a Sacramento County (CA) cop, and I geocache. I have introduced several of my co-workers to the hobby, and there's even a cache next to one of our station houses (no, I didn't place it icon_rolleyes.gif). Although there are almost 1200 cops in this county, and not all know about caching, we haven't had a problem with "suspicious objects in the bushes" calls. Only a few upset neighbors next to parks thinking cachers were looking into their yards. My only suggestion would be to try and educate your local law enforcement agency in a professional manner. Most bombs aren't labeled, bombers aren't usually that sophisticated or want to draw that much attention to their work.

Happy Caching everyone!

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