News

Geocaching giggle: Police watch gnome for drugs

David Nielsen's geocache site 'Geez, I must be Dopey' caused a stir with Gladstone police on Thursday morning after a concerned citizen reported seeing people at the site, fearing it was a drug handover.
David Nielsen's geocache site 'Geez, I must be Dopey' caused a stir with Gladstone police on Thursday morning after a concerned citizen reported seeing people at the site, fearing it was a drug handover. Campbell Gellie

A GNOME stuffed down a pipe had police camped out in the bushes waiting for an illegal drug pickup yesterday morning - only to discover it was all part of a hobby that is taking off in Gladstone.

Two men were seen concealing a suspicious object in bushland around Lake Callemondah on Thursday morning, before jumping back into their car and driving off.

A witness, who was out for a morning walk, said it looked like suspicious behaviour.

"I think it's good just to call it in (to police) these days," the witness said.

Police officers arrived on the scene and parked their cars out of sight, waiting for the Criminal Investigation Branch to arrive.

They were camped out and ready to pursue anyone who arrived at the scene.

LATEST:

>> 'Suspicious men' who found geocache come forward

But when the CIB officers moved in to inspect the item, they discovered it was a gnome and a container with 23 empty film canisters - one of 458 sites in Gladstone tied to geocaching.

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity relying on satellite technology to find hidden objects.

Geocachers use a hand-held GPS device, about the size of a mobile phone, to find their quarry.

They find clues to the objects online.

Police stay out of sight, ready for what they thought would be a drug pick-up, but turned out to be a geocached gnome.
Police stay out of sight, ready for what they thought would be a drug pick-up, but turned out to be a geocached gnome. Campbell Gellie

Police sergeant Peter Stone said he didn't mind going out in the heat of the day to investigate what the witness had thought was something quite suspicious.

"It was all fine and that's what we're here for," he said.

"It's something we had to take seriously at first, but I understand it's all good fun. It's a game and a bit of fun so there's no harm done."

The Observer managed to track down and talk to the owner of the gnome, geocacher David Nielsen.

He said this was the first time his "cache" - ironically named "Geez, I must be dopey" - had been accidentally discovered.

"I hope he didn't cause any trouble. It's just a game," Mr Nielsen said.

"It's part of the game to be stealthy when you're looking for the cache so people don't think something suspicious is going on.

"They clearly weren't stealthy enough this morning."

Geez, I must be Dopey, the geocached gnome that caused a stir with Gladstone Police on Thursday morning after a witness reported seeing something suspicious.
Geez, I must be Dopey, the geocached gnome that caused a stir with Gladstone Police on Thursday morning after a witness reported seeing something suspicious. Campbell Gellie

Mr Nielsen has been geocaching for eight years and has found 3258 caches all around Australia.

"It's a great way to travel and see things you wouldn't ordinarily see," he said.

"My wife and I are going to Stanthorpe on Wednesday for the Queensland Geocaching Mega Event.

"There will be people from the US and New Zealand coming here just for it."

The event runs from April 2-6.

Visit www.geocaching.com for more details.

Topics:  drugs, editors picks, geocaching, gladstone police, gps



Gladstone coaches, teams, helped Welch make it to Storm

John, Brendan, Christian and Terry Welch after Melbourne Storm won last week.

Welch credits his Gladstone coaches, teams for his success.

Snake catchers offer free info session after near-fatal taipan bite

HOOKED: Lachlan Gilding and Max Jackson will promote snake safety to Agnes Water next week.

A free snake awareness session at Agnes Water this Monday.

Lessons shared one tribe to another

LESSONS SHARED: PCCC's Michael Eggmolesse, Greg Blackman, Kitselas council's Roxanne Ridle, Cherissma Blackman, Kitselas Debbie Moore, Kitselas land and resources council staff member Noel Argueta, Nat Minniecon, Richard Johnson and Naomi Johnson.

Impact on cultural heritage, jobs for Indigenous with three projects

Local Partners

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight

Mahershala Ali in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E2: Code of the Streets review

Simone Missick and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'