any undercover run-ins?

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angryeunuch
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any undercover run-ins?

Post by angryeunuch » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:25 am

While walking around the streets in the 4:30 area my friends and I were approached by two of painfully obvious undercover cops. Both were short-ish, very broad, crewcut hair and wearing jeans and white t-shirts. They walked and talked like they were on the beat. They said,"We lost our ticket stubs and need yours so we can run out for a second."
Obviously we didn't have them on us. When we told them as much they said,"That's fine, we'll follow you back to your camp and get them."
We said "no" but they kept insisting. I finally snapped at them to leave us the hell alone. Without another word they marched off and started bothering some people in a nearby camp. DIY camp if I remember right.

Anyone have any similar experiences?

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by maladroit » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:29 am

Um...what exactly were they trying to nab you for?

It's far more likely that they were employees of some kind who wanted to go to Reno to pick up something.

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Doctor VonBacon » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:31 am

I think you are vastly overestimating the motivation level of most LEOs.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Ano » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:34 am

No undercover run-ins, but I did notice that instead of having a massive gauntlet on the way in to the event, there was a massive gauntlet on the way out Monday night/tuesday morning. I passed quite a few idling cars waiting for anyone to go slightly too fast... and I saw a guy ahead of me get nabbed...

Really unfortunate, that - get in, go through the whole week without any trouble, stay late, pack up, and get nabbed on Gate road on the way out. That sucks.

The cop presence this year was the best I've ever experienced since 2011. Not overbearing, very friendly, out of the way... I really hope 2015 looks like 2014, and nowhere near 2013.

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Lonesomebri » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:29 pm

From my small perspective it seemed that there was less of a police state than the last couple years. The only bust I saw on playa this year was a blocked license on entry, and 3 officers responding....just like a blocked license would get responded to anywhere, right? I didn't see as many line sweeps thru soundcamps and burns or post-burn flashlights in the eye. I wonder if all the bitching about over zealous law enforcement paid off and they dialed it back a notch. Not to say complaining ever made a difference......

As for me, one day sitting on my chariot drinking a beer as I watched the Temple disappear and re-appear in the blowing dust, two strangers approached on bike and asked if I had rolling papers. "No", I replied. "You looked so cool sitting there smoking one in the dust storm" they said as the started to roll away. "Why do you need papers?" I asked.

Out in that dust we took a chance at paying the stupid tax, but it was worth it to stay human.

Oh, by the way, early in the week the Law did a photoshoot out by the Embrace. I counted over 60 officially marked Jeeps, Pickups and SUVs
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Savannah » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:40 pm

I'm quite pleased to report that I had no (known) undercover run-ins, and that as far as I could see the police presence was a bit more subtle this year.

The cops I did see were accompanied by an ambulance.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by VultureChow » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:40 pm

I was there at the shoot. Saturday around dusk. Brought a handful of dog tags with me and I got all the BLM swag I could carry. And I got to play with two of the drug dogs.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Savannah » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:42 pm

I'm officially jealous.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Lonesomebri » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:44 pm

VultureChow wrote:And I got to play with two of the drug dogs.
This is what I was afraid of....
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Drawingablank » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:57 pm

This is the first year that I didn't get even the slightest vibe of an undercover.

Overall I found the LEOS within BRC to be more laid back (especially compared to last year).

The one thing I found really disturbing was the number of vehicles getting stopped between the Greeters station and the city during my shift Tuesday night. During most of my shift there were at least 3 active stops happening and often 4 at a time. Once it got dark this became really apparent as you could plainly see the lights.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Sic Pup » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:26 pm

I was in one of the 32 vehicles given the "Golden Ticket" situated on the gravel strip beginning just off pavement and going as far as the split from the two lane into the multi-lane gate road (at about the Black Rock Desert info sign). We waited from 6 AM Monday until about 7pm for the all clear to proceed, during that span I had many opportunities to interact with Gate, BLM officers and participants. I got involved in a conversation with the BLM officer running the show he said he gave the okay to stay (everyone on the pavement was sent back (to Fernley (?))) because of the concern some of the longer trailer/rvs would have issues doing the u turn. He gave us a good preview of the art out on playa this year (he absolutely was gaga over Embrace) and was really forthright in providing as much info as he could.

When the subject was broached he, first off, admitted that enforcement was heavy-handed (his words) last year and that he instructed all his officers that this year was about education (again his word) and that they were to strive for an 85% warning/15% citation ratio this year. I asked him specifically about a vehicle that had the license partially obstructed by bikes on a rack. He said if it were to be pulled over it should result in a warning and went on to say that it was unfortunate that the rack manufacturers don't take into account the license plate in the design. He also went on to volunteer that a JOT or an RV had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and that should anyone want to do drugs they were good places to do so (I assume for the benefit for the couple of Birgins in the conversation).

Anecdotally, I can offer that I only saw one vehicle pulled over when the backlog (someone said several thousand were stranded at gate) was let in in early evening. There must have been an open container or some other stupidity because the officer was going through everything strewing it about (I didn't see a canine). I can say that K, apart from gaining a new reputation this year, has always been a thoroughfare for LEO and support vehicles and that this year I saw remarkably fewer LEOs making the rounds. The few that did pass seemed friendly and returned all salutations and waves.

I didn't see any activity on the way out on Saturday.

As far as undercover activity specifically I'll go out on a limb by saying that most people you suspect of being aren't.

I can say overall this year I've seen less activity throughout the whole length out of all my cross-country trips (which was of particular concern to me leaving CO in both directions this year).
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by skippy3k » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:50 pm

I walked by a car getting search within BRC. Three young kids standing around outside. Looks like they just arrived, as it was mid-week and their car still was packed. Being naturally nosey, I walked by a few times and only caught bits of the conversation. One part was the officer saying "I don't understand...you told us you had something in the car, and now you are saying you aren't sure." That sounds like an invitation to search to me!

Granted, I don't know the whole story or what eventually happened, but I will say during my trips back and forth eavesdropping, the officers seemed very nice and polite. Almost apologetic, like "why on earth did you tell us you had something in the car...now we have to get involved!"
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by graidawg » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:53 pm

i had two encounters with leo this year, one was on the way in seeing two vehicles being turned over - like everything being pulled out. i wasnt driving so we didnt stop (if i was driving i would of stopped and got out) second was giving an officer a citation for "parking on the dance floor" and after getting him to flex "hosting a gun show without a licence". he was laughing thoroughout, even got out of his car so i could "nab" him
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by tamarakay » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:59 pm

No undercover interactivity that I saw, but I'm not very police paranoid. When we were handing out margaritas on the street I offered some to any officer that went by. They all laughed and said they wished they could. One asked how late we were serving.

Every interaction I had with law enforcement was a positive experience.

Edited to add: what am I missing here with the tickets?
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:06 pm

On the way in I saw a 1/2 mil motor couch pull over... People were sitting on the ground with a officer towering over then.. Four cop cars.. The couch was being emptied unto the playa..
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Eric » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:40 pm

angryeunuch wrote:While walking around the streets in the 4:30 area my friends and I were approached by two of painfully obvious undercover cops.
If they were "painfully obvious", they were not undercover cops. There is a reason they are called "undercover", and you can bet that anyone who's doing undercover out there has been going longer than you, has better costumes than you, and has access to a better art-car than you could ever hope to be on. If they were "painfully obvious" then all the undercovers watching gangs and criminals would be dead. Think about it. :roll:
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by pink » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:01 pm

Sic Pup wrote:I was in one of the 32 vehicles given the "Golden Ticket" situated on the gravel strip beginning just off pavement and going as far as the split from the two lane into the multi-lane gate road (at about the Black Rock Desert info sign). We waited from 6 AM Monday until about 7pm for the all clear to proceed, during that span I had many opportunities to interact with Gate, BLM officers and participants. I got involved in a conversation with the BLM officer running the show he said he gave the okay to stay (everyone on the pavement was sent back (to Fernley (?))) because of the concern some of the longer trailer/rvs would have issues doing the u turn. He gave us a good preview of the art out on playa this year (he absolutely was gaga over Embrace) and was really forthright in providing as much info as he could.

When the subject was broached he, first off, admitted that enforcement was heavy-handed (his words) last year and that he instructed all his officers that this year was about education (again his word) and that they were to strive for an 85% warning/15% citation ratio this year. I asked him specifically about a vehicle that had the license partially obstructed by bikes on a rack. He said if it were to be pulled over it should result in a warning and went on to say that it was unfortunate that the rack manufacturers don't take into account the license plate in the design. He also went on to volunteer that a JOT or an RV had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and that should anyone want to do drugs they were good places to do so (I assume for the benefit for the couple of Birgins in the conversation).

Anecdotally, I can offer that I only saw one vehicle pulled over when the backlog (someone said several thousand were stranded at gate) was let in in early evening. There must have been an open container or some other stupidity because the officer was going through everything strewing it about (I didn't see a canine). I can say that K, apart from gaining a new reputation this year, has always been a thoroughfare for LEO and support vehicles and that this year I saw remarkably fewer LEOs making the rounds. The few that did pass seemed friendly and returned all salutations and waves.

I didn't see any activity on the way out on Saturday.

As far as undercover activity specifically I'll go out on a limb by saying that most people you suspect of being aren't.

I can say overall this year I've seen less activity throughout the whole length out of all my cross-country trips (which was of particular concern to me leaving CO in both directions this year).
That may have been my campmate's car. Pulled over for no light on the license plate (doofus of a rider she had neglected to put it back on after taking a bike out for a spin while stopped from the rain). She didn't consent to a search, so they brought the dogs which got a hit, so the car was tossed. She's African American & wondered if she was profiled. Don't know about the race of the ride share, who, it turns out HAD hidden drugs in her car. Luckily they didn't find them.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by tatonka » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:10 pm

was a guy at the meet and greet , the one on our right . ")

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Sham » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:25 pm

I didn't see anyone that I suspected of being undercover this year. The general police presence was just the right level to offer protection in an event this size. My few interactions we all positive and friendly. I thanked the police and offered gifts this year. Last year I offered NOTHING!

Last time I had my artcar on the playa, there were people running around warning that my car was an undercover police vehicle. Someone came up to me to warn me about my own car. That was an odd feeling driving around in it after that. This year I got no warnings about my car. :roll:

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by MoBo » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:07 pm

Eric wrote: If they were "painfully obvious", they were not undercover cops.
Off playa, years ago, I saw a homeless guy sitting in a doorway on discarded cardboard across the street from Civic Center Plaza in SF. He was filthy, had an unkempt beard and hair, rotting clothing... the works. He went to take a swig from the paper bag when I noticed he wasn't drinking... He was talking in to it. We made eye contact and I think that because I couldn't have looked more "Joe Civilian -taxpayer and law abiding citizen", he winked.

I went down the block a bit and then watched the show as bicycle police and a couple of ATVs swarmed the plaza and went straight for specific people.

I was so impressed I gave him a dollar as I walked back in the other direction.

There is no way I would have "made" him if I hadn't been so close that I could hear him talking in to that paper bag.

Forget about being able to get a good spidey sense about who is Po-lice and who isn't.

In other words, what Eric said!
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Blueschaser » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:40 pm

Not under cover related....but what happened with MV Christina Tues/Weds late afternoon? Never seen so many LEO vehicles surround a mutant vehicle and empty it of passengers. Was it injury related, or indeed a bust?
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Sham » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:48 pm

Blueschaser wrote:Not under cover related....but what happened with MV Christina Tues/Weds late afternoon? Never seen so many LEO vehicles surround a mutant vehicle and empty it of passengers. Was it injury related, or indeed a bust?
May have been pirates. 8)

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Dr. Pyro » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:00 pm

VultureChow wrote: And I got to play with two of the drug dogs.
That's weird. The very same night two of the drug dogs came up to play with me.

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by FossaFerox » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:59 pm

If it wasn't an undercover cop, some guy took a really strange interest in me on both Friday night and Saturday night.

Friday night he was at OT, not really dancing, hanging back very near the platform closest to the fork-lift swing. He had on a donkey-eared hat that conveniently obscured his actual ears. Twice a guy in an "Outback" hat which also obscured his ears walked up to him, chatted briefly, then headed off. During one of their meetings they both stopped mid conversation, both reached to touch a small bulge under their costumes in unison, and both turned and left without a word. If they weren't cops responding to a call I really don't know what that was.

Then I noticed the same guy in the exact same hat watching me at Pink Heart on Saturday night at around 3 AM from just outside the camp. He was hanging on the edges of the camp looking in at me.

I suspect it's because I wear a bag that resembles a gun holster, except that it has a little over a liter of water where a gun would be. Still a strange/slightly jarring experience. Cop or not, I was being stalked.

Picture of what I was wearing both nights. "Holster" is on my right hip (left side of the photo).

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by maladroit » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:39 pm

Those damned sneaky logical Vulcans...

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by skippy3k » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:40 am

FossaFerox wrote:both reached to touch a small bulge under their costumes in unison, and both turned and left without a word.
:shock:
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by FossaFerox » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:29 am

skippy3k wrote:
FossaFerox wrote:both reached to touch a small bulge under their costumes in unison, and both turned and left without a word.
:shock:
My immediate assumption was that they had a way to key in an "acknowledge" on their radios so they could respond to dispatch over the noise and without being as obvious.
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by skippy3k » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:06 pm

I know. I just read it a different way. :wink:
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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by Nipple » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:39 pm

If they touched each other's bulges, they probably were less "Undercover" and more "Downlow".

The two guys who wanted ticket stubs... probably not cops, but almost certainly up to no good.

Don't give randos your ticket stubs.

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Re: any undercover run-ins?

Post by RedHeaven » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:00 pm

Eric wrote:
angryeunuch wrote:While walking around the streets in the 4:30 area my friends and I were approached by two of painfully obvious undercover cops.
If they were "painfully obvious", they were not undercover cops. There is a reason they are called "undercover", and you can bet that anyone who's doing undercover out there has been going longer than you, has better costumes than you, and has access to a better art-car than you could ever hope to be on. If they were "painfully obvious" then all the undercovers watching gangs and criminals would be dead. Think about it. :roll:

Yep....I was almost fooled by what I truly believe was an undercover in 2011. The only obvious thing about him is that he was hovering Center Camp. Now me, unlike a lot cool hip and new wave burners, I l happen to like Center Camp and the bands that play in there at night. Anyways this guy was a hippy, kind of nice looking hippy, robey burnery toga hippie. It was his first time at burning man and he needed weed. I won't get into it any further but he sure had me convinced and I like to think of myself as somewhat seasoned....

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