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PREVENTING CACHE THEFT


Vexorg_EPPD
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Hi people,

 

I just put out my first regular cache on 03/31/03.......a local Geocacher said, he couldn't find it. Went out, found it had been swiped. icon_frown.gif

 

Couldn't find anything mentioning it in the F.A.Q.'s, but, is it permitted to secure the ammobox with a chain and lock. I have seen in some of the otehr caches where people have used a small, luggage combination lock.

 

Thanks,

Vex icon_confused.gif

 

Strip Mining PREVENTS Forest Fires!

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The main problem with locking it is that many of the same people who would vandalize or steal it in the first place are the very same people to whom a locked box would appear a very inviting target. I try to hide my caches well enough that they simply won't be stumbled upon; I'd hate to go through all the effort of locking one up only to find the tar beaten out of it by some kids with a baseball bat and far too much time.

 

[[[ ClayJar Networks ]]]

Home of Watcher downloads, Official Geocaching Chat, and the Geocache Rating System

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It does sound kind of flippant to just say "hide it better", but the reason you're getting that answer is that almost all of us wish our first cache would have been better. I took a look at your profile, and it shows that currently, you've found six caches, four of which were virtuals.

 

I'm not saying that the spot in which you hid yours was a bad one, but you might want to try and find 5 or 6 more traditional caches to steal some ideas from people as to how to better hide caches so the "Geomuggles" won't find them.

 

And more to answer your question, I have one cache that I placed that is bolted to a permanent structure and padlocked. Of course, it was done with permission of the Forest Preserve. If you have permission in hiding the cache, let those powers know that you're concerned about vandalism, and that you'd like to secure the box somehow. Then see what they think.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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Where you hide a cache is as important as how well you hide it. On a recent find I mentioned in my log that the area was very active and the kids have made forts from downed logs all over the area and trails criss crossed everywhere. I would be surprised if the kids don't find this one and several other cachers made the same comment. So perhaps your site is not quiet enough? Doing more finds and reading other logs will tell you a lot about what works and what doesn't.

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It probably should be mentioned that I know of at least one park that *required* the cache to be locked. Previously, caches were banned throughout that park system, but they're starting to let some approved caches in. One of the requirements in this park was that the cache container must be locked, so it has a combination lock, and the cache page has the combination.

 

[[[ ClayJar Networks ]]]

Home of Watcher downloads, Official Geocaching Chat, and the Geocache Rating System

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I've heard of caches being secured with a lock, but the real key to avoiding cache theft is to hide it well, in an area where it's unlikely to be accidently discovered, or where searchers are likely to be observed.

 

There are a handful of cache thieves who get the coordinates from this website and set out to steal caches. Your caches will never be safe from these miscreants, but you can cut down a great deal on theft by putting some thought into where and how you hide your caches. So far it's worked for me. I've only lost one of the 35 or so real caches I've placed. The one I lost, I didn't expect to last long because, although it was well hidden, it was in a place that searchers could be observed.

 

"You can only protect your liberties in this world, by protecting the other man's freedom. "You can only be free if I am" -Clarence Darrow

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Over time you get a feel for what's at risk. You know where muggles will go and hide the cache a small distance away where they won't. Recently I lost an ammo can to what I though was a great hide. It was hard for geocachers, but when I went back to invesitgate it was clear that the spot I picked would be attactive to every kid who ever went to the park.

 

So Now I'm going to replace it 20' over but around a lot of obsticals that only geocacher would bother with.

 

Locking your cache will result in a cache that is plundered with everthing missing except what was secred. That part will be smashed.

 

==============================

Wherever you go there you are.

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My theory is that the liklihood of a cache being plundered is inversely proportionate to the effort required to find it. By incorporating a combination of distance and difficulty, you make it less likely that your cache will be stolen. Thieves are generally lazy and frequently stupid. Most of them are more likely to go after a number of easy finds than to expend their efforts on a single long distance, multi-leg, or otherwise challenging cache hunt that may end in failure.

 

So my advice is to invest the time to make your cache more challenging than those nearby. You and your entire local geocaching community will be the beneficiaries.

 

Worldtraveler

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quote:
Thieves are generally lazy and frequently stupid. Most of them are more likely to go after a number of easy finds than to expend their efforts on a single long distance, multi-leg, or otherwise challenging cache hunt that may end in failure.

 

This is generally true, but we had cache thieves hit one of the most difficult caches

in NJ. It involved multiple stages, a stiff climb, rock scrambling, swamp crossings and a 7 mile hike.

 

The same owner also had another 4.5 star difficulty cache snatched, so it seems someone was specificially targeting their caches. So of someone wants to get your cache, they will.

 

But generally speaking, you are right. The harder the caches is to get to and the better it is hidden, the less likely it is to go missing.

 

"You can only protect your liberties in this world, by protecting the other man's freedom. "You can only be free if I am" -Clarence Darrow

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icon_smile.gifThanks guys! I was feeling a bit icon_frown.gif blue over this; after all, I am just getting started.

 

On of my theories was, that yes, in fact, somebody did get the coordinates of the site here to go and swipe it.....I know my avitar tells EXACTLY what I do for a living, and some people just have an attitude towards ANY L.E.O.

 

Reading some of the replies....I was amazed and astounded of some of the effort that these Geocache thieves put forth for a box of essentially worthless items......especially for the caches that were rated in the 4's or above.

 

Thanks for the advice....off to build a better cache! icon_wink.gif

 

Strip Mining PREVENTS Forest Fires!

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quote:
...I know my avitar tells EXACTLY what I do for a living, and some people just have an attitude towards ANY L.E.O.


 

Perhaps you want to change your avitar.

 

In my 12+ years on the job, I learned it NEVER pays to advertize that you do law enforcement. Once I stopped bringing that car with the funny lights home, changed at the startion, and moved to a new neighborhood, no-one knew what I did.

 

DustyJacket

Not all those that wander are lost. But in my case... icon_biggrin.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

I've heard of caches being secured with a lock, but the real key to avoiding cache theft is to hide it well, in an area where it's unlikely to be accidently discovered, or where searchers are likely to be observed.

 

There are a handful of cache thieves who get the coordinates from this website and set out to steal caches. Your caches will never be safe from these miscreants, but you can cut down a great deal on theft by putting some thought into where and how you hide your caches. So far it's worked for me. I've only lost one of the 35 or so real caches I've placed. The one I lost, I didn't expect to last long because, although it was well hidden, it was in a place that searchers could be observed.


 

I posted the following in another thread, but it may fit this thread better.......

 

I had a cache stolen within the last two days. It was completely hidden (if replaced as it was) from view in a swampy, tick, snake,chigger and, mosquito infested spot. Unlikely spot for kids or passerby. I firmly believe it was stolen because the general public can access the coordinates and the spoiler hint. Please don't mention MOC option,

that is not the problem. Some of my most trusted cacher friends are not paying members.

It is the easy access that the general public has to our cache information. And I don't mean that every Joe-blow is out plundering caches, it is the unusual jerk that has nothing better to do. Or just kids that have not grown up yet.

Would it help if we at least require anyone that wants to see the hint to be logged on, and maybe even the coordinates?

What do you think?

I read some of the old threads on this subject and realize this has been a problem for awhile.

:rolleyes

 

I have flouted the wild, I have followed its lure, fearless. familar, alone; yet the wild must win, and a day will come when I shall be overthrown. By: Robert Service

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quote:
Originally posted by Dersu:

 

Would it help if we at least require anyone that wants to see the hint to be logged on, and maybe even the coordinates?

What do you think?


 

I don't see how that would help. Creating an alias for the site is simplicity itself. Setting one up and logging on won't stop anyone willing to put in the effort to track down caches simply to steal them.

 

Is there reason to believe that people are using the website to track down geocaches to steal, or are the missing ones just being discovered by accident?

 

Ron/yumitori

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quote:
I don't see how that would help. Creating an alias for the site is simplicity itself. Setting one up and logging on won't stop anyone willing to put in the effort to track down caches simply to steal them.

 

Is there reason to believe that people are using the website to track down geocaches to steal, or are the missing ones just being discovered by accident?


 

I think the vast majority of cache thievery happens because some jerk found it accidently and choose to take it.

 

There are however some people who use this website to specifically target caches for theft. Adding one layer, registering, may help a bit. Some of these people are too lazy to go through the trouble.

 

The people who target caches probably fall into one of several categories. The first are those juvenile, a-holes who get a sick sense of satistfaction by spoiling the fun of others. My bet is this group is the largest of those who use this site to steal caches.

 

Next come the self-appointed, enviro-cops who believe that geocaching is a major enviromental scourge. I encounter these smug, self-righteous morons in many outdoors related chat rooms and newsgroups.

 

Then there are geocachers who are plain jerks and steal the caches of caches people they may have had a disagreement with.

 

And finally, there are land managers, park rangers, etc... who remove caches because they consider them to be litter.

 

"You can only protect your liberties in this world, by protecting the other man's freedom. "You can only be free if I am" -Clarence Darrow

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I think the vast majority of cache thievery happens because some jerk found it accidently and choose to take it.

 

On the other hand finding a cache accidently got me started. Like many other folks who have a GPSr at home, but don't get the Geocaching buzz until they find the goodies first and then want to get more, figuring out how to use a GPSr in the process.

 

I felt really good with a cache note from a father trying to get his son out hiking, who accidently found part 1of my cache. He had a GPS at home and saw an opportunity to make hiking an interesting game he could share with his son. (Imagining an indoor bound, young video gamer).

 

Hey, it's a little box/can that is cast upon the good will of others and the luck of the wilds. If mine get stolen, I'll keep replacing/downgrading, until I get down to a can and piece of paper to find. A interesting place and view can't so easily be stolen!

 

I'm a pessimist and consider it lost already, and with a continuing pleasant surprise, find they are still there!

 

I think an ammo can could be VERY tempting to steal, whereas spray painted tupperware may not be.

----------

Greenjeens

 

"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm... will stalk you silently."

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not all losses are from theft . I lost a cache 3 days after placing it . It disapered on a monday ( it was found sunday evening)I found out on Tuesday and was contacted by the mother on friday. Turns out a kid found it while going fishing . he took it to show his parents . thay did not know what Geocaching was all about but took the time to look it up an contact us about returning it . it was well hidden in a "haunted " area . I was told it was out in the open . the ghosts must have moved it on me .

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