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View Full Version : Orange County skirt lifter bomb scare



mountainborn
04-20-2010, 12:57 PM
Recieved this Tweet from MadCacher. retweeted and posted here. Link to story and photo:
http://www.ocregister.com/news/anaheim-244792-martinez-container.html
This is a illogical over reaction to a furitive action ?

edieo
04-20-2010, 01:24 PM
You never know what people are thinking This note was posted on my cache RiverTown GC1P2Y7 in Danville ... :roll: :wink: 8O


March 28 by mrfroster (46 found)

First I heard about this one was from my brother, a local law enforcement officer. Seems someone wasn't stealthy enough and a muggle called it in as a drug drop spot. He and another officer checked on it and he recognized it pretty quick as a geocache. Don't know the date so I can't say who was nearly 'busted', but I thought someone would enjoy knowing about it.

astrodav
04-20-2010, 01:49 PM
It's a bit illogical, but you have to:

#1: Remember this was in California. Those people aren't logical.

#2: Like it or not, this is the hyper-paranoid post-911 (for good reason) and that's not going to change.

#3: Consider this was in a big city. 99% of people have no idea what geocaching is, but they DO know what a pipe-bomb is.


Personally, I'm an advocate for NO rules for geocaching. But here is where I differ. This type of action with our sport is just asking for it to be looked at in a negative way & perhaps even have more laws passed telling us where we can & can't, how we can & can't, & when we can & can't.

I don't want that to happen myself. Doing alot of caching in Little Rock, I have come across around 1/2 dozen caches which are purposely placed in a location which is going to cause great suspicion. (I even had the cops called out on me one time by a passerby, which were waiting for me on my return.)

I've approached the owners of these caches about the issues & have been met every single time with stuff like "You need to be more stealthy", "Nothing says I can't hide a cache there.", "If you don't like it, don't hunt for it".

That type of attitude is just asking for trouble in our great sport. We must remember that we AREN'T just dealing with other cachers, we are also dealing with the public, seeing us do our thing, and having no idea what it is. That concerns them greatly.

There's an easy way to help prevent the most of this .... don't hide caches right in front of people's homes & business's. This is VERY common & also a VERY bad idea. It's also a good way to loose your cache, causing frustration for all of us. Maybe a 35mm isn't so bad, but would you risk putting your ammo-can or large Lock-N-Lock in front of someone's building .... how come?

Put yourself in their shoes, not knowing a thing about caching. Would you want someone driving up to your front door, sneaking over to a lamp post looking over their shoulder, then placing a cylindrical object underneath & speeding away? Of course you wouldn't & you can't say you wouldn't care. First thing you'd do would be to call the cops.

So let's just use the light-pole at the FAR end of the parking lot, not the one right in front of the main door. And find ways to hide our caches which AREN'T right in front of a home which is occupied 24/7. I can promise you that the geocaching world will be alot better in the long-run if w pursue these very simple precautions. The caches will be even funner to find too. I can also promise you, that if this type thing continues to happen, it's not going to be long before it will be ILLEGAL.

I'd rather not contribute to causing that for geocaching.

jclaudii
04-21-2010, 09:01 AM
I still have no idea why police do not ALL have a geocaching premium account given to the 911 techs so they can do a quick looksie. Or the police for that matter to use their fancy laptop's in their car to look it up real quick before a big stink gets created.

I know you stated astro if I saw something suspicious and something "dropped" I am pretty sure after they left I would go see what it is...you never know...it could have been a drug drop and they left me a few k-notes :) Also, If I see some one suspicious out on a trail or city park, I usually keep a close eye on them to see what they are doing before I go all "call the police" on them.

With this happening every now and then I am a bit concerned about the possible passing of legislation regulating geocaching, but at the same time what is to prevent a "passerby" or "concerned citizen" calling the police on a car that smells like gasoline or a suspicious vehicle that has been parked for a few days...They don't automatically call bomb squad on those type incidents. The car could have had a gas can in the trunk (and they swell and smell sometimes) if it were rigged up the car would blow...now that is dangerous.

Also, some common sense would go a long ways for all the units involved...First off the police officer should have looked around and noticed that if it was a bomb what would it blow up? A light pole..perhaps one car? That seems like a waste of a bomb. Is it close to potential target for a pathogen? Now if it was under the bleachers of the public baseball field there is a bit more cause for concern there. I think sometimes the operator on the line of these "passerbys" or "concerned citizens" should ask them to go look and see what it is. "Does it say "geocache" on it? if so...that is probably what it is mam/sir." I'm all for more "community" involvement...If you don't like something...find another citizen and go confront that person yourself. This post 9/11 era is freaking too many people out for nothing...and making people paranoid...perhaps that was the terrorist goal the entire time :)

On another topic:
Did you all catch the "the forgotten" episode that included geocaching? If not go find it on hulu...turned out some bones were found in a .50 cal and they had to find a serial killer that was doing something like this....now that would be a totally different scenario. I keep waiting for one of the CSI's to have a episode that features finding bodies from a serial killer by geocaching..can you imagine the FTF on that one.

A side note:
has anyone tried being stealthy by utilizing urban camouflage? I have several safety vest and I though if one were to put "surveyor" on the back in big black lettering if you would then blend in? I mean after-all...surveyors are in strange areas with electronic gizmo's usually.

wilddav
04-21-2010, 10:03 AM
They have to do there job//just as i do as a penske agent i have to ask everyone that enters my office what will you be moving and i srceen them for any tple of infomation on illegal actively,after all PENSKE is scrared for life after the Oklahoma city deal :(
we have to be on our toes and not let that happen again!!!

jclaudii
04-21-2010, 10:38 AM
I can't tell if your joking or not, but it seems the individual could "lie" and tell you they are moving furniture before they go and fill it up with explosives?

astrodav
04-21-2010, 03:05 PM
With this happening every now and then I am a bit concerned about the possible passing of legislation regulating geocaching......

Exactly!! And that's what I DON'T want to see. And that's right where it's heading if cachers keep placing strange containers in front of people's front doors.

I'm really surprised that there's actually resistance about NOT doing this simple step to help prevent any possible restrictions being placed on our sport. Please don't take that as me pointing you out. I'm not. I'm just using part of your post to show that many (most I hope) of us are aware that it's a possibility, but then we still go do it.

It's ALOT easier to use the lamp-skirt at the usually-empty end of the parking lot, than try to get a law banning ALL lamp-skirt caches repealed.

I once lived in a city with pipe-bombs being placed about 3-5 times per year, and I also operated very close to EOD units for several years in the military. I can assure you that they don't go by the, "Well, it looks harmless & says "GeoCache" on the side of it" MO. A bomb-squad who slips into that attitude will soon be a DEAD bomb-squad. Bad guys can buy those stickers too.

That's my greatest wish for geocachng, even above the Nat'l Forest becoming geo-friendly. I wish that every hider would take 30 seconds when placing a cache, & look around, & ask .... "Will this raise any un-necessary suspicion?"

If the answer is yes, then it's just not worth it.

I'm making a guess on what WildDav said, but I bet I'm correct. He just doesn't have to ASK "Are you going to pack this thing with AMFO?" .... he has to request a background check on the person. That's something they CAN'T lie about.

wilddav
04-21-2010, 04:19 PM
With this happening every now and then I am a bit concerned about the possible passing of legislation regulating geocaching......

Exactly!! And that's what I DON'T want to see. And that's right where it's heading if cachers keep placing strange containers in front of people's front doors.

I'm really surprised that there's actually resistance about NOT doing this simple step to help prevent any possible restrictions being placed on our sport. Please don't take that as me pointing you out. I'm not. I'm just using part of your post to show that many (most I hope) of us are aware that it's a possibility, but then we still go do it.

It's ALOT easier to use the lamp-skirt at the usually-empty end of the parking lot, than try to get a law banning ALL lamp-skirt caches repealed.

I once lived in a city with pipe-bombs being placed about 3-5 times per year, and I also operated very close to EOD units for several years in the military. I can assure you that they don't go by the, "Well, it looks harmless & says "GeoCache" on the side of it" MO. A bomb-squad who slips into that attitude will soon be a DEAD bomb-squad. Bad guys can buy those stickers too.

That's my greatest wish for geocachng, even above the Nat'l Forest becoming geo-friendly. I wish that every hider would take 30 seconds when placing a cache, & look around, & ask .... "Will this raise any un-necessary suspicion?"

If the answer is yes, then it's just not worth it.

I'm making a guess on what WildDav said, but I bet I'm correct. He just doesn't have to ASK "Are you going to pack this thing with AMFO?" .... he has to request a background check on the person. That's something they CAN'T lie about.
Your right when i punch in their drivers license #123456789 hit enter it goes thru a FBI system and the home land security system and if i am right it goes thru like 3 system before i get the rental agreement done it does a back ground check with everyone that come thru penske office's //and only once i had to call a number that i had to ask the customer a number of question before letting him have the truck and once on a different time i had to call a different # to let them know that this person was renting a truck and i had to hold him here i had to come up with something to waste time intill which time police came he must been on wanted list ??

jclaudii
04-22-2010, 11:13 AM
you know I watch too many crime shows when I could see the terrorist kidnap a family (a good family like mine or yours) and holds them hostage while you or I rent the truck, drive to the drop off spot, etc.

Overall, we try to do as Astro suggests...if it will draw unwanted attention, then we may need to move it somewhere else.

On a second note, I want to address How I respect our Military and most law enforcement personnel. They do put their lives in danger more times than we know through the course of their daily duties (just watch cops :) )

I have to wonder why when they find out it was a geocache, they just don't put a positive spin on it and say "at least all ended well and it was a great exercise for this type of response. We will be going back and reviewing what we could have done better so we will be more organized the next go around." Instead they always make the geocache and the geocacher fill guilty for placing the cache, it's not like we wanted this. Perhaps UPS left a package on my porch and I was not expecting a package...even though the package clearly states that it belongs to my neighbor. I should call the police "just in case" it was a terrorist and not an honest mistake.

I may be foolish, but If I see someone drop something off I'll probably check it out.

I still wonder how much explosive damage can be done by a film canister on a light pole?

wilddav
04-22-2010, 01:06 PM
soner or later the geocache's that are inside the city limits of any major city there will be no geocache's there in citys over period of time it will cross the home land security office and the will soon enoghn put a restrictions on geocaching inside citl limits

jclaudii
04-22-2010, 01:26 PM
That will bring about the "underground" geocachers! Where secret caches handed out through e-mails and or even old school letter boxes with no fingerprints on them will be the new norm.

astrodav
04-22-2010, 02:15 PM
That will bring about the "underground" geocachers! Where secret caches handed out through e-mails and or even old school letter boxes with no fingerprints on them will be the new norm.



Ooh .... I'd LOVE doing that with a few. :)

wilddav
04-23-2010, 06:30 AM
00ooh yea than the name g.e.o will be molecachin.com :roll:

grzz51
04-25-2010, 10:10 AM
Maybe they should contact the Bomb Squad of "that central Arkansas city" :roll: for proper disposal techniques........ :lol:

jclaudii
04-28-2010, 02:28 PM
I went to my favorite site (besides this one) which is over on Zombie Squad(zombiehunters.org) and posted a question like this:
how much explosive damage potential is there in a film canister or a m&m mini's container if it's attached to the skirt of a light pole(those seem to be the most called in). This is in no way an illegal question, I am just wanting to know to better inform myself and to inform the geocaching community.

My guess is there is not much potential, especially if it's in an empty parking lot.
I got a response like I was hoping for from a military EOD Tech (or so he claims anyway :))
A film can or similar item there would be very little space for a device. If one was made it would be something designed to harm a person handling it. Now something the size of an ammo can could do some damage.

He also stated that he as worked with Civi bomb squads and he says once the bomb tech is called, everything gets shutdown until the tech clears it...Kinda crazy but it is the way the system is to prevent unneeded accidents especially if they were called out and didn't check it out.

I also asked a question on why the 911 dispatcher didn't look it up on gc.com and was basically told that it's not "in their duties" as an operator to do that. They could recommend that be looked at while services are en route to the location, but usually if an officer declares it suspicious...it gets bomb squaded. Now I suppose that officer could look it up on his lappytop but then he has to make the call to check it out.

So far out of all of the geocaches in the WORLD that are published on GC.com...I have not heard of one instance where one of them turned out to be a bomb! I may be wrong, but so far the odds of a published geocache being a bomb are rare...now if it said geocache and it was not on the site (not under basic or premium membership) then perhaps it needs looked into. The only thing it "could" be besides a bomb is a "pending" cache that Chuck has not approved yet or the user temporarily disabled it.


I guess this would be a good time to throw in what was found at the Cwy meeting with the bomb techs? Does anyone have that info?
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astrodav
04-28-2010, 05:11 PM
Personally, this is something that I wouldn't touch. I'll always feel the best route here is to simply perform our sport in a manner which will not draw any unnecessary suspicion to it. In other words, don't hide caches right out in front of people who have no idea what's going on.

Trying to work with governments, bomb squads, police forces, etc. will almst surely accomplish the same identical thing .... but INVOLUNTARY. Laws & ordinances will be enforced completely preventing us from using ANY skirt, fire hydrant, etc, even the one at the far end of the parking lot ..... rather than us taking the initiative ourselves & simply being a bit more careful about our locations.

This affects me very little as far as hiding. ALL of my hides are at least semi-rural & NONE are right in front of a house or business, where no one knows anything about what's going on. So my hiding will continue regardless of what happens in this situation.

But I also like a large number of caches to find, in different types of conditions. But purposely pushing the "suspicion meter" as far as you can, simply because you can, will not lead to a single benefit for geocaching .... regardless of who you talk to, how many meetings you have, or how many agreements you sign.

But that's my opinion & I may be wrong. But with the past experiences I've had working closely with law enforcement in the military (I can't say in what aspect however), I don't believe that I am wrong. This type of exposure is one thing that we most definitely do NOT want to get associated with geocaching. Every single possible effect it can have on us will be negative.

And it's just so easy to prevent that.

jclaudii
04-29-2010, 08:40 AM
I agree, but when a cacher post or contacts the cache owner of a particular geocache that has raised citizen's suspicion to the point of police being called and or the cacher letting the owner know that it is in a "bad" spot and that it could be construed the wrong way; and the only response the owner has is "use more stealth" or "I'm not moving it" sends the wrong message. How is the best way to deal with those people?

astrodav
04-29-2010, 02:16 PM
Sometimes there just isn't a way. Being as this is a mostly voluntary & un-regulated sport, which I am 100% for it STAYING that way, there's no "court" to judge when a cacher is behaving improperly .... or in a way detrimental to caching. Thus, there's no possible way to MAKE a cacher do anything.

Even if someone wanted to take a 12" long piece of 1" PVC pipe, cap both ends, paint it silver, & place it in plain view in a parking lot .... there's no guideline, law, or rule by GC.Com which specifically says they can't do it that way. (In case no one caught the example .... that type container in that type situation would automatically mean "PIPE BOMB".)

And I don't WANT there to be any guidelines saying we can't do that. And most definitely I don't want a governmental LAW saying we can't. I'd much rather we police our own sport, NOT doing things which raise too much suspicion ourselves, & highly discouraging it as a group when we see others do it. If we don't do that, then eventually someone will do it for us.

Unfortunately, not every cacher is willing to take those few simple steps & extra 2 minutes to do a quick survey of the area & determine if it's an appropriate caching location or not. And if you say anything about it, they throw a fit. A perfect example is the one I mentioned that happened to myself. I'm not going to name names .... just ain't my style. But the one I am talking about isn't very difficut to find.

First off, it's on a bridge, which is against guidelines anyway. No, it's NOT a vehicle bridge, but it IS a bridge, AND it's right above one of the busiest interstates in Arkansas. The bridge is VERY rarely used, so muggling isn't so bad. But even so, when I was there, I noticed at least 3-5 ways to hide a cache which would probably be 90% safe from a muggle, but easily findable to most cachers.

But the owner instead decided to make it REALLY hard & unconvientional, not give a hint, and pretty much require you to stay up there for at least 30 minutes .... unless you just get real lucky. His reasoning was, "If I make it easy for a cacher to find, then it's easy for a muggle to find". To me, that's simply the mark of an unexperienced hider. Theres a hundred ways for a cache o be hidden, which is fairly obvious to an experienced cacher, but completely invisible to the public.

But that wasn't so here, so there I was, in the middle of a bridge, in the middle of a city, with 10,000 cars an hour passing directly below me. After about 30 minutes of poking, prodding, peering, scratching, & all that other stuff we do during cache-finding, I gave up. During this entire time, a grand total of ZERO other people used this bridge.

Think I looked a bit suspicious up there? D!&n right I did. That's evidently what a motorist thought also. Since 2 sets of cops had blocked both ends of the bridge during this time & met me at one end on the way out. Anybody NOT think this situation had the potential to be a very serious one? D@*n right it did.

Luckily, I'm not really a very suspicious looking guy, & most certainly don't have a police record .... at least not for anything bad. I've been in jail twice for bar-room fights in the military, but nothing else. I'm almost certain that they called in for my record prior to. That may be one of the reasons the situation was easily defused.

But is somethng like this even necessary? First off, personally, I would never have even PLACED a cache in a highly visible location like that. But that's just me. But I do appreciate every cache I find, although Iwould much rather someone make this THIS type a very quick one, so we don't have to wander around like a lost goose for a long time. And I almost immediately saw a way this could have been done here. A cacher would never have even had to stop walking to retieve the cache .... but a pedestrian would have walked right past it, not even seeing if it they had been looking.

So I brought up my concerns in my DNF log .... not a "Needs Archived", nor even a "Needs Maintanance" .... just a very nice run-down of what had occured. The reaction was TWO complete posts, each several paragraphs long, from the cache-owner .... then a THIRD similar one from the co-owner .... informing me just how many things I did wrong, how he had every right to hide it as he saw fit, & that it really wasn't any of my business. Then to top this off, he launched into several insinuations about how I must be overly scared of police because had a criminal background & related stuff like that.

There's no reasoning with these type people & I know better than to even try. I simply deleted everything I had posted, except for a simple "DNF" or something. That didn't satisfy him either, since he then modified some of his previous comments & added that it was my "responsibility" to re-post what I deleted, because other cachers needed this info.

Group pressure is the only possible choice for those types. It's a really nasty way to do it, & I'm not even suggesting it TO be done. But these type of ill-thought-out cache placements will eventually come back to bite us in the long run, in some form or fashion. Of that, I'm 100% sure. And when that happens, it's already too late to say, "Okay, please take that part away. We promise we won't do that again."

That's why I am so against purposely hiding caches in places where it's impossible to NOT be seen by the public, especially when that public has no idea what you're up to. Or at the VERY least, make those so we can get in, do our thing, & get out quick enough to raise no suspicion.

But it's a voluntary & "trust" thing, which is the way it should be, & the way I want it to be .... even knowing that there will always be a certain percentage of cachers who abuse that trust. And that in turn makes it harder for ALL of us to enjoy our now-lightly regulated hobby.

But anyway, I've said about all I can say on this issue, so will bow out of it now. The discussion was interesting.