Geocaching can be a great way to get outside and stumble across some pretty interesting locations. I remember being in elementary school and joining a friend and his mom on a geocaching adventure, and we ended up at a small waterfall that felt incredibly isolated from the rest of the world, a place I likely never would have stumbled upon if it weren’t for the small trinket containing box.
Unfortunately, however, it seems like geocaching also has the ability to lead to quite the public scare. According to a Facebook post from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado, on August 6th, an individual playing pickle ball near Summit Middle School observed what they considered a “suspicious device” and immediately contacted the police. After two robots were unable to identify the device, the Jefferson County Bomb Squad was called in to detonate the device. Inside the pipe was a note stating “Geocache 3” and a simple joke.
“Today’s incident took a significant amount of time and valuable resources of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Frisco Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and the Jefferson County Bomb Squad. With the recent school bomb threats sweeping the nation and here in Colorado this past week, geocaching participants should be sensitive of the types of vaults they are creating and the materials used to make them. No one should be making and planting devices that look similar to pipe bombs near school campuses for any reason.” – Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons
It’s easy to look at this story and find the humor in it, but it is a pretty serious incident. Schools and college campuses across Colorado have been hit with bomb threats like crazy in the past few weeks, and the scares aren’t limited to one state. We can’t be certain whether the individual who made the geocache actually had any idea that it looked scarily similar to a pipe bomb, but this story is a good lesson. Don’t make items that look like weapons and leave them in public. Geocaches aren’t supposed to be obvious to the regular passerby, but that doesn’t mean they should be made to look like anything suspicious. Hopefully the person who made this one saw the story and went to replace any other similar geocaches they may have hidden, and hopefully this story will catch enough people’s eyes that incidents like this won’t happen again.
Image Credit: Summit County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook