Cave vandals caught and punished

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Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby Caverdale » Oct 23, 2008 8:48 pm

As the result of action taken today, October 23, before a federal magistrate in Salt Lake City, Utah, I received the following e-mail:
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"Well, it was a very good day in court. We got guilty pleas from all parties involved in the June 2008 break-in at Crystal Cave. Total amounts recovered are $1475.00 in fines and $1919.30 in restitution. Thanks again to Dale Green who provided the trail cameras that made it all possible and to Ranger Carrie Pope who investigated the suspects. Yahoo!! Now I can forget about all those days hauling heavy steel and 275 lb. arc welders up that stinking hill."

Ray Kelsey
Outdoor Recreation Planner
BLM Salt Lake Field Office
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Game trail cameras were strategically placed to capture anything passing by the way to the cave. At first they didn't work for various reasons, but mostly from operator error. Finally I got it right and caught 4 people on their way to a beer party in the cave. The leader is shown below. The photo is washed out because although I thought the lens was pointing directly north, it was pointed to the west and sun rays washed out the exposure somewhat. However, a little Photoshopping got what was needed. BLM Enforcement Officer Carrie Pope deserves a great deal of credit for eliciting oral and signed confessions from the culprits through some very ingenious methods. :clap: :kewl: :banana: :banana_yay:



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Re: Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 23, 2008 8:54 pm

Goes to show that a little ingenuity will go a long way. Game trail cameras, it seems work.
Kinda hard to plea not guilty when your face is right there and holding incriminating evidence at hand. :doh: Hopefully it teaches a good lesson. :nono:
Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible. ~ Reinhold Messner


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Re: Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby NZcaver » Oct 23, 2008 10:21 pm

Exxxxxxcellent! :clap: Gotcha! :bash:

And he had 3 sources of beer with him, too! :lmao:
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Re: Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 23, 2008 11:41 pm

NZcaver wrote:Exxxxxxcellent! :clap: Gotcha! :bash:

And he had 3 sources of beer with him, too! :lmao:
:laughing: Good one.
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Re: Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby tncaver » Oct 24, 2008 9:12 am

Yaaa! I'm glad the game trail cameras were successful in catching the trespassers. That should end once and for all
the controversy about whether game trail cameras are a successful deterrent to trespassing and vandalism. Now,
maybe more conservation organizations and individual cave owners will use them to protect and prosecute people
who enter their caves illegally. :banana_yay:
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Re: Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 24, 2008 8:38 pm

NZcaver wrote:Exxxxxxcellent! :clap: Gotcha! :bash:

And he had 3 sources of beer with him, too! :lmao:



He had to carry so much beer because it is only Utah 3.2!

Nice work Dale.

What did they do to the cave?
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Re: Cave vandals caught and punished

Postby Caverdale » Oct 24, 2008 11:05 pm

jaa45993 wrote:
NZcaver wrote:Exxxxxxcellent! :clap: Gotcha! :bash:

And he had 3 sources of beer with him, too! :lmao:



He had to carry so much beer because it is only Utah 3.2!

Nice work Dale.

What did they do to the cave?


One can get quite plastered on Utah 3.2% beer. We just drink twice as much. :big grin: Actually, although the cave is physically in Utah, it is only about 1/2 mile from the Nevada border and all of the perps were from that state, so they were surely drinking the good stuff. To visit the cave, Utah cavers have to drive a considerable distance into Nevada and cut back. There is no direct access from Utah.

The cave already has enough vandalism so that it is difficult to tell what they might have done inside, except for leaving bottles and cans all over the place. I hope they didn't pee in the lake. The main damage was done to the cave's gate and subsequent costs to fix things include materials, salaries, and considerable transportation costs. The government figures it costs them $0.585 cents per mile.
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