Geocache Causes Bomb Scare In New Zealand

from the some-computer-game dept

Last year there were a bunch of stories about various police overreacting to “bomb scares” that turned out to be something entirely innocent. The most famous was the “mooninite” that shut down the city of Boston for a while. While some make the argument that police can never “overreact” to a potential bomb threat, the real problem was less in how they reacted on the scene, but how they followed through afterwards — even once they realized that there was no actual bomb and there was no ill intent from the folks who placed the devices. Rather than chalking it up to a misunderstanding, they insist on considering these illegal hoaxes — even if there was no hoax at all, but just a misunderstanding.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how New Zealand police end up dealing with a similar situation in Auckland, where there was a bomb scare over a device seen hanging off a railing at an intersection. The police shut down the street to call in the bomb squad to examine the device, which turned out to just be a geocache that someone had set up. Amusingly, the news report on the situation refers to geocaching as a “computer game,” suggesting no familiarity with (and, of course, no attempt to understand) what geocaching actually is about. So far, the police don’t seem to be reacting in the same manner as the Boston police, though they do say that whoever left the geocache “should have known better.”

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Comments on “Geocache Causes Bomb Scare In New Zealand”

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16 Comments
Bob says:

Devils advocate

As a lapsed-geocacher myself I have to say in defense of the police they did the right thing.

First of all as a rule you should hide your cache better than that (so not to draw suspicion.) Second they are supposed to be obviously labeled as a geocache.

Plus use a container that looks less suspicious when found. I don’t know what that was but it looked a bit ominous to the uninformed.

Also they caught the guy on tape placing it there and he was dressed in a ninja suit.

And as you said the police in this case immediately treated it not as a hoax but as a mistake.

Anonymous Coward says:

Everyone continues to make fun of Boston and its hoax, but in fact the marketing company should have been punished.

Those devises were up on the streets of Boston for over a week and no one was paying any attention to them. The marketing company then placed 5 911 calls to report the devise, all within 5 mins.

The marketing company knew what it was doing and didn’t care, all they wanted was attention. Those a-holes should still be in jail.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Do you have source for saying the marketing company called 911? I don’t remember ever hearing that.”

Think about it, the “ads” were up for two weeks, and then 5 911 calls come in about them. All of the 911 calls were placed from phone booths, none of them could be identified. All identified the “ads” as being suspicious, all calls talked about different locations.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. Initially Boston looked into that and questioned the marketers, but they were somewhat smart and didn’t admit to it.

The marketers realized their guerilla marketing stunt was a failure and called 911 to get attention, which is exactly what happened.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re:

Why did they do it only in Boston? Why didn’t they do it anywhere else that the adds had been in for over two weeks? You want to fake a bombing then you got to do it every ware. Why not in New York? Seems to be a better place to rial people up. And how douse this explain that incident a few weeks latter where they blew up three CD players at a church? And Boston still handled both insanely wrong.

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