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Deceitful rock hounds create ruse to outsmart the law; it doesn’t work

Rock hounding is known as the activity of searching for and collecting rocks, and rock hounds have been out in full force lately in several locations of Lewis County, Washington, known for a variety of rocks, such as agates.

A prospecting article pointed out several of these locations, some of which apparently were on private property. Understandably, private landowners don’t appreciate the public digging holes for rocks on their property.

But the temptation was too great for one rock hounding couple, who devised a ruse to outsmart the law, as reported on Facebook by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police.

WDFW Officer Schroeder found a vehicle at a known illegal rock hounding location and discovered a note on the windshield under a wiper blade.

It read: “Dog got loose please do not ticket or tow. If dog waiting at car, please use leash to hook dog to it. Name is Teddy, he is very friendly.”

The note suggested using the treats left with the note to lure Teddy in.

Officer Schroeder decided to check things out by a creek where he typically finds rock hounds illegally digging for agates. Sure enough, a man and a woman were filling a backpack with agates.

One example of an agate.

He noted they never called for a dog, so he got into his vehicle and backed down a road where he could see the suspects’ vehicle but the suspects couldn’t see him.

A short time later, the couple returned to the vehicle, put the rocks in the trunk with the leash and treats, and began to drive away.

Also on FTW Outdoors: Wildlife officers face criticism over citation for 71 lobster tails

Officer Schroeder pulled up to their car. The male suspect told him they were just turning around and had gotten lost. The officer told him he thought they might have been at the creek. The male changed his story, saying they did go for a quick walk to look at the creek but only for a minute.

The WDFW Police completes the story:

“Officer Schroeder then asked if they had found their dog, ‘Teddy.’ The suspects looked at each other in silence and finally responded with a solid no. Officer Schroeder let them know he watched them collecting rocks and asked to see what they took from the private property. The suspects provided a pile of agates filling ¾ of a 5-gallon bucket. The agates were seized as stolen property and the suspects were cited for trespassing.”

In the comments, some landowners voiced a word of thanks to Officer Schroeder for his vigilance and being there for the property owners.

Said one commenter: “Just when the officers think they have seen and/or heard everything…This kind of thing happens.”

Photo of note courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police; photo of an agate courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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