Ministry of Transportation Bans Geocaches
Here’s a disturbing new development for geocaching in Canada. The Ministry of Transportation has banned geocaching on their property. That’s all highways, roads, rest stops, guardrails and more. Anything posted within 100 metres of a road, or MoT structure is going to be declined by the reviewers for the time being. This one’s going to affect a LOT of geocaches in British Columbia.
Now the argument could be made that micros along roadways aren’t the top of the quality scale but this does affect more than the roadside power trails. 100 metres extends a fair amount into most parks and private properties too. This wipes out the concept of hiding a cache on your own property if you live in a typical suburban lot, as your entire property is usually within 100 metres of the road in front of your house. The loss of the “highway rest stop” cache is also a painful one as many geocachers will use the rest stops with caches to break up a long trip.
VDOT answers a few questions about the ban
Virginia Administrative Code 24 VAC 30-50-10 provides that the ground and other objects are not to be disturbed. Safety Rest Areas are a component of Virginia’s transportation infrastructure and exist to serve interstate travelers by offering safe, convenient, places to rest. Unmonitored excavation can cause damage to grounds, utilities, and create trip/fall hazards at these high visitation pedestrian facilities. As interstate facilities Safety Rest Areas were not purposed to allow the public to dig or abandon property on-site.
At this time VDOT does not intend to enable geocaching activities at Safety Rest Areas.
Geocaching Shuts Down British Town
DaveAtWorkAnnoyingly writes "Many geocachers will be thinking twice when planting their treasure in an urban space as one geocacher found out in England after the police cordoned off the center of a small West Yorkshire town and the Bomb Squad was called in. From the article: 'It was a normal busy Friday morning in the small West Yorkshire market town of Wetherby when someone working in a cafe spotted a man acting a bit suspiciously on the street. He appeared to have a small plastic box in his hand and after fiddling with the container he bent down and hid it under a flower box standing on the pavement. He then walked off, talking to somebody on his phone.'"
Geocaching: the unintended results
By Danny Savage BBC News
Bomb squad in Wetherby over internet treasure hunt box Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on the plastic box
Security alert over treasure hunt
The wacky world of geocaching
Geocaching in North Yorkshire
It was a normal busy Friday morning in the small West Yorkshire market town of Wetherby when someone working in a cafe spotted a man acting a bit suspiciously on the street.
He appeared to have a small plastic box in his hand and after fiddling with the container he bent down and hid it under a flower box standing on the pavement. He then walked off, talking to somebody on his phone.
Karen Brittain, whose cafe door is just a few feet from where the container was left on 1 July, was alarmed by the man's behaviour and called the police, who then sealed off the area.
She said: "We were closed down for several hours and it was a disaster for us really, because we had been very busy that morning and it was a beautiful day and we probably would have been very busy."
A unit from the Royal Logistic Corps at Catterick Garrison were called. They moved the planter to expose the box and sent in a robot to carry out a controlled explosion.
Shops in the area were closed for nearly three hours and business owners say they collectively lost thousands of pounds. Afterwards the remains of the plastic box were left scattered across the pavement.
But it was not a bomb, the suspicious device was a geocache.
police cordon in Wetherby Businesses were evacuated after police cordoned off an area of Wetherby
Geocaching is an internet-based treasure hunt. Here in the UK it has grown in popularity over the last decade and tens of thousands of people are involved.
The concept is a simple one. Geocachers leave a container, which can vary greatly in size, at a location of their choice. They then put the exact co-ordinates of their box on the geocache website.
The cache is nearly always well hidden and can take a bit of cunning to find. It's all part of the challenge, but it's also why the centre of Wetherby was brought to a standstill.
The events in West Yorkshire have now made the police and the geocaching community pause for thought. Some online forums are now questioning whether caches should be left in urban areas.
In placing the caches, what I would say is, please apply some common sense to where you put them”
Ch Insp Mick Hunter West Yorkshire Police
Ch Insp Mick Hunter, who was in charge of the response last Friday, said: "Police don't want to spoil people's fun and if people want to geocache then that's great.
"But in placing the caches, what I would say is, please apply some common sense to where you put them."
He also questions putting caches in urban areas.
"If you feel as though you have to do that, then perhaps contact the police, let us know where it is, give us a description and perhaps a picture and a contact number would be very useful."
But what do geocachers think? Dave Palmer, a prolific geocacher, believes there is still a problem with many people being unaware of the activity.
"We still need to get the information out to police officers. Maybe we need to get to chief police officer level and get the information disseminated down to a forcewide level in each area," he said.
Palmer - brainless idiot if he thinks that the police must follow its caches
Oro Grande man convicted of shooting at geocachers
Jury acquits him of injuring 13-year-old boy
October 03, 2011 12:08 PM
VICTORVILLE • An Oro Grande man was convicted of shooting at people participating in a high-tech treasure hunting game called geocaching on his property.
After a day of deliberation, a jury found 71-year-old Manuel Soria Heim guilty Friday afternoon of assaulting two male adult victims with a gun.
He was initially charged with shooting at all four geocachers, including a 13-year-old boy who was injured in the leg. But the jury acquitted Heim of shooting at the injured teen and another boy. Jurors weren’t available to clarify why they acquitted him on the charge related to the only person injured in the incident.
On July 15, the four geocachers drove from Simi Valley to the High Desert. Participants in the game go online to find coordinates and then use a GPS device to find waterproof containers holding a logbook, in which the players sign their code names after each discovery.
The geocachers were hiking on the hill off National Trails Highway near Academy Avenue in Oro Grande looking for several containers hidden there. When they were opening one of the containers, they heard a voice from the foot of the hill telling them they were on private property and to get out, Deputy District Attorney Carrie Halgrimson said.
The victims turned back and began walking back up the hill, but Heim fired at them, Halgrimson said.
Deputy Public Defender Luke Byward, Heim’s attorney, told jurors the defendant had fired the gun out of the fear that the geocachers were the same people who had robbed Heim about six weeks prior to the incident. Byward said drug addicts had constantly been trespassing on Heim’s property.
Heim claimed he saw several people crawling down the rock on his 15-acre property and told them to leave when they were about 230 feet away from him, but they didn’t listen. The defendant shot into the air and at the rocks to scare them away, but a bullet ricocheted and struck the boy, Byward said.
The injured boy testified he can lift his leg now but is still limping and feels pain in his leg when he walks.
Heim is scheduled to return for sentencing Nov. 1. A judge can sentence him anywhere from seven years and four months to 16 years and four months in prison, or put him on probation.
USA, October 4, 2011. It is reported that a jury found 71-year-old Manuel Soria Heim guilty to assaulting 2 people