Are Undercover Cops Asking to Join Your Camp??

Are Undercover Cops Asking to Join Your Camp??

Postby madmatt » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:31 am

Anyone else out there dealing with this??

We have a medium sized camp (65-80 people) and I have a lot of posts here and on BM facebook groups discussing stuff like how to avoid underage drinkers, shade structures, all very legitimate stuff, no naughty stuff at all. But our camp definitely has a public presence.

I keep getting private messages, about 6 now, all saying stuff like "hey remember me from last year, how do I secure my spot in the camp. I can be there the day before..."

It's clear I have never met these people. It's clear they are faking that we know each other. It sounds like they are not real people, but fake profiles. Their "profiles" on eplaya show they joined that day and have posted only one message, that day. I have responded to each of them politely "gee, sorry, I can't seem to remember you, can you elaborate?" And they never respond.

I think they are undercover cops fishing for a camp to get in and bust everyone for drugs or whatever other terrible crimes cops thinks Burners do. I'm not paranoid - they are all just so ludicrous and so similar...only thing I can think of.

We only allow friends of friends join our camp, and we don't do anything illegal, so no big worry here, just creepy and sad, if it's true.

Anyone else have this happen to them???
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Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:37 am

My first thought is desperate wanna-burners who don't have a clue how to camp on their own.

Seems an odd way for undercovers to go about it, but yeah, I can see how the scenario would pan out.

Unfortunately, the eplaya doesn't have a "real burner" filter or I'd be out of a job.
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Postby ygmir » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:40 am

tell them they need to show up at your house before the Burn for an interview and oral sex..............
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Postby Sham » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:51 am

ygmir wrote:tell them they need to show up at your house before the Burn for an interview and oral sex..............

Maybe madmatt doesn't want to give an undercover cop oral sex.
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Postby ygmir » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:58 am

Shambala wrote:
ygmir wrote:tell them they need to show up at your house before the Burn for an interview and oral sex..............

Maybe madmatt doesn't want to give an undercover cop oral sex.


maybe, you've got that backwards............
maybe, I meant on eachother, the applicants, that is.........
maybe, I meant yoga would be involved, and, they'd be alone..........

you know about assuming, you rascal
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Postby Fire_Moose » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:01 am

Just ask if they are a cop....they have to tell you ;)
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Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:06 am

Fire_Moose wrote:Just ask if they are a cop....they have to tell you ;)


Actually, no, they don't.
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:18 am

AntiM wrote:
Fire_Moose wrote:Just ask if they are a cop....they have to tell you ;)


Actually, no, they don't.


Oooooh, who got called out? Ooooooh.
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Postby Jackass » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:22 am

Remain vigilant, they will try and work that angle. Also when you have parties and social mixers they'll work themselves into the mix and try to build some rapport with whoever.
They'll act like they're drinking but you'll find their full or nearly full drinks once they're gone. Had one of those hang-arounds last year, talked about how f-ed up he'd been "last night" but looked like he had stayed in a hotel and had a FULL nights rest, referred to himself as "crash" :x
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Postby Sham » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:06 am

Keep in mind that these police come in from all over the state and from various departments. Most that are working the rural areas are bored senseless all year and look forward to Burning Man with flappable glee! There is some weird misconception that all people who attend are drugged and drunk all week. Why else would they be there? They have strategic meetings behind the scenes on how to catch the evil, drunk druggies and to rake in as much money as possible for their respective agencies.
They truly care less about protecting some 20 and a half year old from drinking alcohol, as they do about being able to give a $1000 fine to the person serving them.
Some young looking kid strolled into our camp last year looking for a beer. There was no doubt his daddy was a cop and he was getting paid to work this detail. I threw him the fuck out of our camp and told him to get lost. He was off to the next camp to look for a beer.
If there were no fines involved here, just a court appearance, there would not be a cop in the place. They are there strickly for the money and not to protect the young 'uns.
I hope that there is some plan to get this event off goverment land just to get away from these pests. :roll:
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Postby geekster » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:10 am

Our camp has an interesting idea in that we must have actually MET you and you must actually show up prior to Burning Man for at least two of our pre-event "work days". We do make exceptions for international campers but again, we must have already met you in some way. Any new campers must have a recommendation from one of our existing or former campers and a candidate newbie gets at least a cursory "hey, any of you have strong feelings about this person" sort of way.

This will be the 5th year our camp has been on the playa and to date we have had ZERO drama at the event. But then again, camping with us is not much different than camping on your own. We don't have a central kitchen, you are responsible for your own shit, you are expected to pitch in with common areas and our camp is NOT a democracy. We have one person who is clearly in charge of common stuff and decisions by that person are final. Don't get me wrong, she will always listen to an idea, but she is "the decider" in case of any ambiguity or other lack of clarity. We find that works much better than having various factions lobbying for their own way of doing things. She has a very loving way of allowing people to own their own shit.
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:39 am

geekster wrote:This will be the 5th year our camp has been on the playa and to date we have had ZERO drama at the event.


My camp is in the same boat. We are very high profile and haven't had any run-ins. I think that some of it comes down to working hard to stay legal and being friendly with the LEOs. Most of those cops "volunteer" for their shifts at Burning Man and enjoy the change of scenery. I've met a few of them out there and I don't think they viewed me as some idiot druggy. I'm sure there is a whole different sect of police looking to screw you and take your money. Put you in jail for sneezing. Or punish anyone who isn't like them.. but most cops are just like the rest of us. They have a job because they like the hours. They like the benefits. Or they think they are doing something good for the community. When I hear someone get upset about how expensive their DUI was or how pissed they were about having to spend extra money to build their California house according to earthquake and fire safety standards I want to slap them.

So yes, there are prick cops and there are good cops. And I think there are as many or more good cops out there.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:10 am

bm_cricket wrote:
AntiM wrote:
Fire_Moose wrote:Just ask if they are a cop....they have to tell you ;)


Actually, no, they don't.


Oooooh, who got called out? Ooooooh.


Hmm is the internet getting bad reception today?




;)
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:16 am

Fire_Moose wrote:
bm_cricket wrote:
AntiM wrote:
Fire_Moose wrote:Just ask if they are a cop....they have to tell you ;)


Actually, no, they don't.


Oooooh, who got called out? Ooooooh.


Hmm is the internet getting bad reception today?




;)


Dunno, but ePlaya is having another one of those:
phpBB : Critical Error

Could not connect to the database


kind of days.
)'(
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Postby Jackass » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:43 am

Oust the impostors, if they smell fishy send them packing or hit them with some uncomfortable line of questioning. Where's your camp at?? Lets go hang out over there and have a look around. That'll rattle them, if they're fakes.
Many burners are way too passive and take these guys at face value. I have nothing to hide but I'm not especially fond of fake people trying to buzzkill, gain revenue or gather intel.
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Postby Token » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:46 am

If you really run a clean camp, I'd bring one of these peeps in, as a science and cultural project and see what happens.

Get it in one of the newspapers.

I can see the headlines:

MM presents - To Catch an Undercover Predator.
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:58 am

Token wrote:If you really run a clean camp, I'd bring one of these peeps in, as a science and cultural project and see what happens.

Get it in one of the newspapers.

I can see the headlines:

MM presents - To Catch an Undercover Predator.


Sounds good to me. Last year we had one really cute, really friendly tag along. She was there early, helped build, spent each day randomly helping us put stuff together and would vanish at night. Always looked clean and hip and showered. She met up again for SF Decom. Honestly I don't know if she was a cop or just a friendly clean person but she knew how to power drill some rebar! And put in more hours building our camp than most of the regular camp members.

...But I know that nobody in their right minds would or should offer her a bunch of tier 1 controlled substances. Use some common sense.. :shock:
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Postby geekster » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:29 pm

We have a history of taking in strays that has worked out fairly well. Many of our campers work various departments for the org, some of them pre-event. One year, for example, a camper from the UK arrived several days before the start of the event. A relative dropped him off at the entrance to Gate Road and by the time he got to the gate on foot. his ride was long gone. He had no early entry credentials so he couldn't get in and was stuck. Well, he took it upon himself to watch those at the gate and without asking or being told, started to pitch in and help get people though. Our camp "whippencracker" saw this burst of initiative and since we had a couple of unused early entry passes yet, asked him if he would help us set up in exchange for getting in and camping with us. He agreed and it worked out great.

We did have someone busted once in our camp but it wasn't one of our camp members. A person decided to spark one up in our common hospitality area JUST as a local LEO was riding by on an ATV. The guy was firing up a bowl right in the open directly in front of an open doorway facing the street. He could not see who was approaching from left or right up the street and just happened to light the bowl JUST as the LEO was riding past directly in front of the open entrance. Had it been a couple of seconds later or had the LEO been looking in the other direction, he would have had no problem, he just got stupid and then he got unlucky. Funny how those two attributes tend to go hand in hand.

We have never had a problem with law enforcement at our camp with any of our campers. We don't encourage stupidity, either. Since many of our campers work with the org in various departments, we are fully aware that there are plenty of officers, both uniformed and not, on the playa. Just don't be stupid and your chances of getting unlucky go way down.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:00 pm

Jackass wrote:Oust the impostors, if they smell fishy send them packing or hit them with some uncomfortable line of questioning.

Yeah, I don't need any creepy cops smelling me.
*shudder*
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Re: Are Undercover Cops Asking to Join Your Camp??

Postby Token » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:18 pm

madmatt wrote:I'm not paranoid - they are all just so ludicrous and so similar...only thing I can think of.


You know, it takes only one unhappy camper, visitor or fool to send an anonymous email to the constable.

Maybe such a hypothetical fool said your camp was a drug trafficking hub of some kind.

I smell a sting operation.

You're not paranoid if the conspiracy is real!

;)
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Postby Dustdevil » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:14 pm

Hey Madmatt,

How about posting the names of people that wanted to camp with you, AGAIN, this year. It might be valuable to others.
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Postby madmatt » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:02 pm

Dustdevil wrote:Hey Madmatt, How about posting the names of people that wanted to camp with you, AGAIN, this year. It might be valuable to others.


I wouldn't do that unless I KNEW this was the case...the whole reason I started this discussion was because I wanted to know if my suspicions were reasonable or if anyone else had the exact same experience...

Doesn't matter really, I didn't let them in our camp anyway.
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Postby Jackass » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:16 pm

I wouldn't do that unless I KNEW this was the case...the whole reason I started this discussion was because I wanted to know if my suspicions were reasonable or if anyone else had the exact same experience...


I think you're suspicions are well within reason and valid. This would be about the time they start sewing the seeds of sting ops. It's good to raise awareness, might help someone out. :shock:
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Postby geekster » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:21 pm

Well, you also have to realize that now that camps have been placed, some people are going to start hitting up theme camps that are located where they want to locate themselves in the city.
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:22 pm

Jackass wrote:I think you're suspicions are well within reason and valid.


I had to pull all my teeth out because the CIA had the KGB put alien transmitters in my teeth. BUT I GOT THEM GOOD!

PS,... There are lots of cops,.. It's wise to be cautious but there's no need to be paranoid.
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Postby Jackass » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:28 pm

I had to pull all my teeth out because the CIA had the KGB put alien transmitters in my teeth. BUT I GOT THEM GOOD!


I glad you spoke up about that, here all along I thought I was the only one.. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby ibdave » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:41 pm

our camp has a very inviting open front with our shade back from the road 30' or so. one afternoon a 3-4some walked in asking if they could smoke in our camp. flatlander13 called them out and made sure everyone close by knew narcs were walking around...

another year a campmate caught the eye of the "ATVs' passing by and they rushed in.. fast thinking from other made it mute. i came out of the rv with fresh bbq tri-tip and offered them to stay for a bite not knowing what the real reason was.... :shock: :shock: :roll:
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:16 pm

ibdave wrote:our camp has a very inviting open front with our shade back from the road 30' or so. one afternoon a 3-4some walked in asking if they could smoke in our camp. flatlander13 called them out and made sure everyone close by knew narcs were walking around...

another year a campmate caught the eye of the "ATVs' passing by and they rushed in.. fast thinking from other made it mute. i came out of the rv with fresh bbq tri-tip and offered them to stay for a bite not knowing what the real reason was.... :shock: :shock: :roll:


I definitely had one person sitting in our huge public dome on Monday? Tuesday last year? Asking "Can I smoke this in here?" Good god I think I scared the living daylights everyone in that little group. They couldn't have been more than 18 years old... Explaining that they were in the second most heavily trafficked intersection in the city with regular police patrols in an event filled with undercover narcotics officers and they were asking a stranger in a crowded place if it was okay to blaze it... Jesus Christ I'm glad they didn't pee themselves... <i>Then when I started explaining what I know about the draconian Nevada drug laws ...</i>
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:10 am

Look at their shoes, you dirty stinking hippy. You can always tell cops by their shoes.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:20 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Look at their shoes, you dirty stinking hippy. You can always tell cops by their shoes.


see, Dougly, I'd think you'd go for some sort of olfactory testing and, verification.......
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