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Police Blow Up Geocache

An OPP officer reconnects detonation wires on a robot used to disable a suspicious package beside the King George VI lift bridge in Port Stanley. Photo: ROBERT CHAULK, QMI Agency

One person’s bomb is another person’s treasure, so to speak.

At least that was the case on Wednesday when Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) took the threat of an explosive beside the George VI Bridge in Port Stanley seriously enough to blow it up themselves.

According to the London Free Press, a passerby alerted officers in the Canadian province to a suspicious package near the well-travelled bridge that had a wire attached to it.

Bomb disposal experts used a robot to examine the container hidden under a tree in a large carpark by the bridge before detonating it about 12.30pm.

“But the OPP’s bomb was nothing more than what geocachers call a treasure,” the news agency reported, under the headline ‘Suspicious package a prank’.

“Lindsey Crabb, a geocache enthusiast, said thousands are hidden in the Port Stanley region alone. She called police when she heard about the detonation. “I told him, ‘Hey, you guys just blew up a geocache.’ (The officer) asked what a geocache is, so . . . I showed him on my computer.”

The hide in question is believed to be the now archived GC24B2C Big Bridge Surprise; its name prompting much mirth on the GC forums.

After a 2008 geocaching bomb scare, Ottawa police called for geocache containers to be transparent, the article continued. “That’s what Elgin OPP Constable Troy Carlson would choose. He’s aware of the hobby and thinks it can be fun, but he wishes people thought twice about how they hide things.”

*But what It’s Not About The Numbers really wants to know is why do geo-bomb scares seem to occur in sets? Although to be fair, last weekend’s Disney incident wasn’t actually geo-related. If you have a theory we’d love to know.

10 comments

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  1. northernpenguin

    Small correction:

    “At least that was the case on Wednesday when Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) took the threat of an explosive beside the George VI Bridge in Port Stanley, Ottawa seriously enough to blow it up themselves.”

    Port Stanley is a good 500km from Ottawa. I think you meant Port Stanley, Ontario.

    1. kjwx

      Mea culpa. It was 5.30am here when I posted and I’d only left the office a few hours earlier. Error now corrected.

  2. Philip Williams on Facebook

    i think the p.c need to do geo caching or a least add this site to ther threat investigation plan ( look at the are to see if a geo cach site on not

  3. Peter Walker on Facebook

    But then they wouldn’t get to blow stuff up!!

  4. GSV

    I prefer the other version:
    1) member of public reports suspicious behaviour / object
    2) Official (Police/Fire/etc) responds and investigates
    3) Official signs log and later online as well.
    Just wish I could find some of those old logs. I did have links to them a while ago.

    1. Cumbyrocks

      Here’s one for you – check out the FTF then go find the thread on the NZ GPS Forums…

      http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=ece92e3a-e083-4241-b99e-d2ef7cdfa09a

      1. GSV

        That was one of them! 😀

  5. Lone R

    I’ve noticed that a lot of caches that are blown up are at or within a few feet of a parking lot. Add a cache that’s also at or near a bridge and you’ve got a double whammy. Add a busy tourist town and you’ve tripled your chances that a cache is going to raise an alarm. I feel for the CO though. No one wants this to happen to their cache. I’m sure caches in forests get spotted by muggles all the time but are less threatening sot they get examined or ignored.

  6. Steve

    I was told by a reviewer you couldn’t put stuff on bridges for just this reason .

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