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Geocaching And Law Enforcement


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Have you ever been stoped by cops, park rangers or other law enforcement while geocaching.

 

Yes.

 

What did you tell him when you were stopped?

 

The truth. Usually a good idea, IMO.

 

My strangest encounter was when I was looking for a cache in a park in Tracy. There were kids in the playground, but as always, I stayed away from them. Still, a mother called the police, assuming that I was a child molester.

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I had just finished this tough puzzle cache but a friend was still pulling out his hair over it, about to quit caching in frustration. So I offer to meet him at the final location. Someone saw him sitting in his car waiting, then I pull up, and we go into the woods together. Not at all a strange senario to a cacher.

 

Well we notice this guy staring at us, so we pause a look in his direction. Most muggles would avert their eyes and continue on their way, not this guy. Wait, he has something in his hand, a GPSR? We don't want to give away the location so we discreetly pick up the cache and move off. Geez, the guy walks right past us as my friend hides the cache behind his back. We think it's strange he is paying so much attention to us. But after logging we quickly return the cache and walk out of the woods to be met by...

 

Glitch's log

 

Apparently the thing in his hand was a cell phone, he was staring at us so he could give a good description to the cops. Seems he thought we were drug dealing. The cop was cool. I spotted him as we came out and asked if he was looking for us. Yep. He was ex-military and had used GPS in the Gulf war. I told him our game was not quite so serious.

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My son and I were parked at the side of a county road, checking the GPS, when a sheriff pulled up.

 

He asked if everything was OK. We said "yes" and he drove off.

 

Not very exciting, but I think typical of encounters with law enforcement. They just aren't that interested in strange behavior and are more concerned that we might be having trouble.

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Un-F'n-believable. ;) I read the first story and shook my head. Terrorists!?! The second post really pissed me off. Because a single male is walking in a PARK he arouses suspicion? I would have asked the officer to walk over and have a discussion with the mother. It’s one thing to be concerned about children, and another to violate the civil rights of a law-abiding citizen. What a class A idiot. Sorry for the rant, but that crap really pisses me off. :o

 

At least in both cases the police reacted with reason.

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Uh.... what if you are the law enforcement officer and also a geocacher :o I actually have several caches hidden on the beat where I work. It's always fun to watch people finding them. Actually, at my department we are fortunate to have more than a handful of deputies that are geocachers.

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I think geocaching might have saved my friend Deb from getting a ticket. :D We were coming back from Buffalo NY. yesterday after caching and were pulled over. After the officer told Deb that she was doing 57 in a 45 zone he asked us where we were going. We explained that we were heading home after doing some geocaching. He of course asked what that was and after I explained it to him and talked to him about 10 minutes about it he said that he would have to check out the web site. He said that he had never heard about it but it sounded fun. Then he told us to be careful and sent us on our way! ;) Maybe if you get pulled over you should just flash the secret geocaching sign. :o

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Uh.... what if you are the law enforcement officer and also a geocacher :o I actually have several caches hidden on the beat where I work. It's always fun to watch people finding them. Actually, at my department we are fortunate to have more than a handful of deputies that are geocachers.

Hehe, I work at a prison, wonder how much of a stir it would cause to place a cache on the property ;)

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Uh.... what if you are the law enforcement officer and also a geocacher :o I actually have several caches hidden on the beat where I work. It's always fun to watch people finding them. Actually, at my department we are fortunate to have more than a handful of deputies that are geocachers.

Hehe, I work at a prison, wonder how much of a stir it would cause to place a cache on the property ;)

I live near a Federal Prison and you can't stop on the road in front of it without an instant response from the security patrols.

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Due to my tendency to search for geocaches at odd hours and in bad weather, in 2002 I was racking up a high count for law enforcement interactions. They were all pleasant, I'm happy to say. Even once when I was inadvertently trespassing, the officer led us to a legal parking spot.

 

I decided to become proactive. First, I wear a rather laughable outfit when caching... paramilitary green... I get mistaken for a park ranger or game warden on a regular basis. I look like I belong wherever it is that I'm poking around. People don't call the cops on me, they come up and ask me for directions.

 

Second, when I see a park ranger or patrolling police officer, I make it a point to approach them, say hello, and thank them for their work in keeping the parks safe for outdoors lovers. Often, they notice my GPS and we will get into a conversation about GPS use and sometimes even geocaching. I only mention geocaching when I'm sure that the cache I'm looking for has been placed with permission; otherwise, I'm just a hiker. If you have nothing to hide and don't act suspicious, there should not be a problem. And since we are doing nothing wrong, why act suspicious?

 

100% positive report here.

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Second, when I see a park ranger or patrolling police officer, I make it a point to approach them, say hello, and thank them for their work in keeping the parks safe for outdoors lovers.

Yeah, that's the first thing a park terrorist would do too. :o

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While looking for a rather clever cache along an abondoned railbed that runs near a major road I noticed I was being watched by a local sheriff. I found the cache, put it back and got to and into my car and started to drive away. I got a mile or two down the road when he came speeding up behind me lights and siren blaring. He wanted to know what the *heck* I was doing out there! I explained the game to him and he said "It seems like a great waste of time and money to me!". I said yeah but it gets me out of the house for a while! Ha ha ha! I don't think he really cared about me, what I was doing, or the sport in general, it was probably just a slow day for him and he wanted something to do!

 

Peace!

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Maybe if you get pulled over you should just flash the secret geocaching sign. :o

no way, the cop will think you're trying to shoot him. ;) besides, if I ever get pulled over, I keep my hands outside the car window. I respect police and their jobs too much to make it any more stressful than it is. if they are approaching my vehicle and can see my hands then hopefully that will alleviate it just a bit. it's been a long time since I've been pulled over though!

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We just had a near miss a couple of days ago - we're visiting Italy, and drove through Florence to pick up GCGA2H (On The Way To Fiesole). It happens to be directly off the side of a busy road, but it has convenient parking. :o

 

My friend found it first and called me over. I walked up, saw it, and pulled it out the bushes - then turned around and saw that the local police had stopped to see what we were up to.

 

I *know* he saw me pull a piece of tupperware from the bushes, and could only imagine what he was thinking!

 

I wasn't sure what to do, so I put the tupperware under my arm without trying to hide it. Then, I took out my camera and walked across the street (towards the cop) and started taking pictures of the Tuscany countryside. I made sure to make eye contact, smile, and wave at the cop...and he smiled and drove off.

 

Whew!! Hopefully he chalked it up to a pair of stupid tourists - after he left, we took the cache back to the car to do the usual logbook signing etc, then put it back. Close one, but definitely one we'll remember!

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I've had several contacts with LEO's while caching, but two of the strangest were both here in Ohio. I was stopped by a metroparks ranger while driving on a main park road and was advised that I couldn't wear camoflouge in the park. I had grabbed a jacket since it was chilly, and happened to take my lightweight camo jacket. I told him I was pretty sure I could, and he backed off pretty quick. The conversation ended shortly after that.

 

Another time I just completed a cache in a city park in a Columbus suburb, near the airport. Everything appeared normal when I went into the woods, found the cache, didn't see anything unusual. When I got back to the parking lot and into my truck, a police sergeant walked up to me and asked what I was doing there. I told her, and she then advised me that nobody was supposed to be in the park, that there was a "police operation" going on there. No signs had been posted and there was no notice of any kind in the area. She wouldn't tell me what the police operation was, but did say that other officers in the area saw me and called it in. I didn't see or hear anyone else while I was back there. Must have been some type of training exercise or maybe even a stakeout for something. She was pretty nice about the whole thing.

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I've had several contacts with LEO's while caching, but two of the strangest were both here in Ohio. I was stopped by a metroparks ranger while driving on a main park road and was advised that I couldn't wear camoflouge in the park. I had grabbed a jacket since it was chilly, and happened to take my lightweight camo jacket. I told him I was pretty sure I could, and he backed off pretty quick. The conversation ended shortly after that.

 

Another time I just completed a cache in a city park in a Columbus suburb, near the airport. Everything appeared normal when I went into the woods, found the cache, didn't see anything unusual. When I got back to the parking lot and into my truck, a police sergeant walked up to me and asked what I was doing there. I told her, and she then advised me that nobody was supposed to be in the park, that there was a "police operation" going on there. No signs had been posted and there was no notice of any kind in the area. She wouldn't tell me what the police operation was, but did say that other officers in the area saw me and called it in. I didn't see or hear anyone else while I was back there. Must have been some type of training exercise or maybe even a stakeout for something. She was pretty nice about the whole thing.

That first story is weird. The second story made me laugh! I guess if they were doing a stakeout, posting signs to that effect wouldn't exactly be conducive to their operation, would it? But I know what you mean, how the heck are ya supposed to know unless they tell ya? :lol:

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Mine's pretty tame also:

 

While I was pulling into a parking lot near a forested area full of hiking trails I noticed a police car follow me in. I thought he was just turning around, but stopped to questioned me as I got out.

 

"Are you walking your dog?" - Wierd I didn't have a dog with me. :lol:

 

"No, just doing some hiking"

 

"OK"

 

Pretty boring eh?

 

Not caching, but this summer we were on our way to NJ to visit relatives. I was all prepared for the usual question when crossing the border into the US, where are you going, where are you from, ID, how long etc. etc.

 

But the last question I was not prepared for and totally blanked on it.

 

"So what do you do for a living?"

 

I know its a totally mundane question but I totally blanked for a while. I then stammered out "I am a wireless technician"

 

"Oh, that's why you have all that geek stuff in the car"

 

Had GPS connected to laptop, with map display, and wireless internet access.

 

Scott :(

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I was stopped by a metroparks ranger while driving on a main park road and was advised that I couldn't wear camoflouge in the park.

 

What?

Man, I'd have almost asked for a ticket so I could see a prosecutor explain that one to a judge. (Well, a reasonable judge). That sounds like a first-assignment-out-of-law-school case to me. :lol:

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I was stopped by a metroparks ranger while driving on a main park road and was advised that I couldn't wear camoflouge in the park.

 

What?

Man, I'd have almost asked for a ticket so I could see a prosecutor explain that one to a judge. (Well, a reasonable judge). That sounds like a first-assignment-out-of-law-school case to me. :(

I'm totally astonished.

Next, we won't be allowed

to wear firemen's hats either! :lol::D

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We were driving through a nice neighborhood on the way to a cache a little after midnight one night. Just as we pulled in to the park parking lot, a cop flashed his lights. He came up to us & asked what we were doing. We said geocaching, and started to explain, but he already knew about it. Turns out another local cop there was into it, so he was well informed.

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Yep...

 

Here's story #1.

Unless that's some clever comment about Martha Stewart's legal problems, I think you have the wrong link.

Now that's funny. Yep wrong link. Lets try that again...

Try This.

How weird. In your log it says you went with the ladder. Did you bring a ladder with you on vacation, or did you just find one there at Disney World? :D:(B)

Oops. :lol: Thanks for pointing that out. I fixed it.

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I haven't been stopped, but here's a recent post to one of my caches:

 

:lol: January 20 by UncleRMC (unclermc) (28 found)

I guess this cache is little too close to the train tracks for the police. As I was reviewing the contents they came upon me to find out what I was doing.

I showed them my iPaq and told them I was playing a GPS game and they said, "Oh, are you Geocaching? Can we see it?" HAHAHA

 

TNLNSL

 

The cache is Soledad Bike Path Hideaway in Santa Clarita Ca.

 

It IS near the tracks, but within the law and on a small hill ABOVE the tracks.

The Sherriffs had heard of Geocaching, but had never seen a cache. They checked it out and were on their way!

 

glh

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I also work in law enforcement and I know that when I am out caching, I would look suspicious to any officer that was watching me. If I am out of the city I work in, I just bring my police ID just in case. I figure an ID card would let an officer know that I am a law enforcement employee like them and not some park weirdo. :lol:

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I also work in law enforcement and I know that when I am out caching, I would look suspicious to any officer that was watching me. If I am out of the city I work in, I just bring my police ID just in case. I figure an ID card would let an officer know that I am a law enforcement employee like them and not some park weirdo. :(

I think that would just make you a park weirdo with a law enforcement employee ID card. Just Kidding. :lol:

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I come across law enforcement every 2 or 3 months, and it's worked out fine until this month. While doing a multi and trying to cram the year's quota of locationless in one day, I took a picture of a 737 landing at San Jose.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LU...de-a604309a9df2

 

The Sheriff's came after me, and filled out a card on me to run through the Homeland database. But I was back on my multi way in 5-10 minutes.

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Have you ever been stoped by cops, park rangers or other law enforcement while geocaching.

What did you tell him when you were stopped?

Renegade caching stories?

 

I'll give it some more thought (that's right, I've lost count), but right now I can think of three caches and two benchmarks where I had to explain myself (ourselves) to officers of the law.

 

Oh, one time we hid until they went away. The searchlight panned right by us.

 

Tell 'em? The truth. Cops gets REALLY pissed when lied to.

 

-WR

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I am a police officer in Lancaster County PA USA and a long time geocacher. I still get a kick out of rolling up on a crew of unsuspecting cachers and tooting the police car siren. Once they learn that I too cache they laugh as well. I am always happy to give assistance with area caches and part knowing that I made a few new friends. 

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