Orange County skirt lifter bomb scare
Recieved this Tweet from MadCacher. retweeted and posted here. Link to story and photo:
This is a illogical over reaction to a furitive action ?
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.
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.
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!!!
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?
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.
Originally Posted by jclaudii
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 ??
Originally Posted by astrodav
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?
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