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Explosion Of Bad Publicity For Geocaching

Not one, but two suspected pipe bombs dogged Canadian geocachers (and law enforcement agencies) this week.

VICTORIA

A quiet Saturday afternoon at work became a pipe dream for Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Vancouver Island when they responded to the country’s second geo-bomb scare in three days.

The offending geocache, Gingers Walk #7

Emergency crews evacuated an area near Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood about 3pm yesterday after a suspected pipe bomb was found in a tree.

The Vancouver Sun newspaper reported that “the object looked like a pipe capped at both ends. RCMP, Colwood fire and military police attended, and the bomb squad in Vancouver was consulted.”

“What it turned out to be was a geocache that had been poorly disguised,” said West Shore RCMP Corporal Bryson Hill, once authorities had cleared the scene just after 5pm. “Someone made the wrong decision on how to disguise it. Once you dismantle it, it was filled with trinkets.”

According to a local player, the actual listing was GC3A61Q Gingers Walk #7. It has yet to be archived by owner cachefortwo.

TORONTO

Toronto police 1, geocaching 0 – that was score on Thursday after officers detonated a cache they feared was a home-made pipe bomb.

At 10am, police, fire and ambulance crews responded to a call of a suspicious package taped to a utility pole on a traffic island in an exclusive west-end neighbourhood of the Canadian city.

Witnesses told CBC News the item resembled a piece of plastic plumbing and was attached to the pole with plastic zip ties.

Residents of Prince Edward Drive North and King Georges Rd were confined indoors for three hours while the police bomb disposal unit used a robot to detonate the suspicious package.

The crime scene: Prince Edward Drive North.

Constable Wendy Drummond advised media that the object was most likely a clue used for geocaching. It had been spotted by a Toronto City Works department employee. “From an emergency management point-of-view, we have to investigate. [People] have to be aware of the inconvenience and the time and money this caused.”

Police would continue to investigate and hope to collect fingerprints off the remains of the detonated package, she said.

Constable Wendy Drummond

However, any PC-savvy player could tell her the cache in question was GC3H5Y0 Urban Island, a 1/1 traditional by newcomer thetimmorland. It was placed less than a month ago on the day after he joined GC.com and logged his first find. When disabling the listing, he wrote: “Sadly that’s the end of this geocache. I didn’t think it could possibly cause this much trouble.” 

The contrite cache owner later explained on the GC forums they ”had no idea anyone would think it looked like a bomb” when placing the container. “I am only a kid and coming home from school to find out what had happened was probably more frightening for me than the geocache ever was for anyone else.”

So much so that “the whole experience” has put the youngster off his new hobby.

*Video footage of Thursday’s detonation can be seen here.

4 comments

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  1. Lone R

    I think that children should not be cache owners, the CO is 12 years old. It’s bad enough when an adult has to deal with this kind of thing.

  2. Pete

    I’ve felt quite the grinch in the past when I (privately) lost my temper in the presence of our good Reviewer complaining about children placing caches and people with less than x “experience” placing caches.

    I was assured the Reviewers do everything in their power to stop these from being published, but if the placement ticks all the boxes, they have no choice but to hit the big Publish button.

  3. Pete

    By the way… tsk tsk on the headline ;)

    1. kjwx

      You didn’t find it punny?

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