Geocaching Shuts Down Wal-Mart

Pennsylvania police evacuate a Wal-Mart after confusing geocache box for a weapon of terror

Geocaching (a game where players use a GPS to find a hidden goodie box placed somewhere—usually in the wilderness—by other geocachers) catches quite a bit of flak in the hiking community, mostly because of obvious leave-no-trace issues. But on Tuesday, geocachers ran afoul of Pennsylvania police on much more serious charges: The fuzz evacuated an Oil Creek Township Wal-Mart after mistaking a black geocache box in the parking lot for a weapon of mass destruction.

There were between 40 and 50 people in the Titusville Wal-Mart at the time of the police-ordered evacuation after the package was discovered, according to a Wal-Mart employee who did not want to be identified.

There were no injuries reported and the Erie Police Department bomb squad was called in to dispose of the box. It was destroyed in the parking lot by the bomb squad around 1 p.m.

The interesting part? Cops destroyed the box after figuring out it was used for geocaching. Guess somebody hates geocachers even more than hardcore leave-no-trace hikers.

The saddest part? Right now, there's probably some hapless geocacher staring alternately at his Garmin and a hole in the asphalt, yelling to the heavens, "WHERE IS IT?!"

—Ted Alvarez

Goecache game forces Wal-Mart evacuation (Meadville Tribune)

Thanks to Tim Shisler