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High Grading Claim Jumpers


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   We have a rich area on one of our claims in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains of California and have had issues with tresspassers who are highgrading. We have not caught them yet. They opened up a big dig site on a bench near a creek. We tested the ground. My partner processed 20 buckets and got 5 grams of gold. Now I see why they are digging in there. We posted a claim sign on a tree right where they are digging and they have to look right at it. We put up two cameras which they found and stole. One was higher up in a tree and out of sight so they are be cautious and looking for traps. 

   I called the Forest Service & they said it's the Sheriff's departments job. The sheriff's dept said they don't get involved in that kind of thing and it would be our job to catch them in the act, find out their names, and get proof they are stealing gold from us. Even if we call them while the thieves are there digging they won't get involved and say it is a civil matter for us to deal with. My younger partners want to lay in wait, catch them, and beat them up. I told them that's not a good idea as they could face charges and the thieves could bring back friends and relatives. Then you have a war. It's frustrating to say the least. One of my partners saw a green Dodge Dakota with a cap driving up and down the road many times while they were working there. It may have been the thieves waiting for them to leave. Not sure. Does anyone have any good suggestions other than shooting them or hanging them?

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20 minutes ago, GhostMiner said:

it would be our job to catch them in the act, find out their names, and get proof they are stealing gold from us.

This. The fact you have failed to get that evidence so far changes nothing. Do a better job hiding cameras or whatever.

Think of it from law enforcements perspective.

“Somebody stole something from me”

”Who, and what did they steal”

”I’m not sure who, and I don’t know what they stole, but I found a hole, and there was gold in the hole”

What you are actually reporting is you found a hole with gold in it, and you don’t know who dug the hole. Not much for a cop to go on. And they certainly are not going to spend time and money on a stake out over it.

Please do not put all posts in bold. I let it go in the other thread, but anywhere else I’ll just edit it back to normal.

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2 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

This. The fact you have failed to get that evidence so far changes nothing. Do a better job hiding cameras or whatever.

Think of it from law enforcements perspective.

“Somebody stole something from me”

”Who, and what did they steal”

”I’m not sure who, and I don’t know what they stole, but I found a hole, and there was gold in the hole”

What you are actually reporting is you found a hole with gold in it, and you don’t know who dug the hole. Not much for a cop to go on. And they certainly are not going to spend time and money on a stake out over it.

   I should have been more specific. I asked them if they would come out if we caught the thieves in the act. Would they help us confront them while they were actually digging. They said no. It would be our job as it's a civil matter. 

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Yup, that’s their answer. They are not going to help you do that. They are telling you what you have to do. Collect evidence to present to a judge, who decides the penalties.

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If it's really that rich of a claim then why not file for a plan and work it with your own people on site? Or have someone go patrol it once daily with a camera? If you have a plan filed, you should be able to also file for temporary occupation and keep someone posted out there beyond 14 days. Though being in California, maybe things are different, dunno. 

You can't file criminal charges in a civil lawsuit even if you prove they stole something, so at best you'll be able to recover whatever gold you can prove they stole. And it's going to be an expensive, long suit doing that where 100% of the burden of proof is on you. And in the end they still won't be arrested either. 

Whatever the case, don't use violence, or even implications of violence. That will put you 100% in the wrong and make YOU liable for criminal prosecution. 

 

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1 minute ago, jasong said:

If it's really that rich of a claim then why not file for a plan and work it with your own people on site? Or have someone go patrol it once daily with a camera? If you have a plan filed, you should be able to also file for temporary occupation and keep someone posted out there beyond 14 days. Though being in California, maybe things are different, dunno. 

You can't file criminal charges in a civil lawsuit even if you prove they stole something, so at best you'll be able to recover whatever gold you can prove they stole. And it's going to be an expensive, long suit doing that where 100% of the burden of proof is on you. And in the end they still won't be arrested either. 

Whatever the case, don't use violence, or even implications of violence. All will put you 100% in the wrong and make YOU liable for criminal prosecution. 

 

That claim is leased to a guy in the process of a Plan of Operation. He lives hours away. My partners stop out there on occasion to check the claims. They are all under lease except one. 

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There are trail and security cams that have remote recorders you can hide away from the camera and even some that will use cellular to send photos and video remotely.  If you are interested in those let me know and I’ll research it a bit for you.  I used to use the cellular ones for a highway project on a remote mountain and they worked well. Even got video from a camera right when a rockfall took it out.

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Do you have cellular at the site?

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6 minutes ago, GhostMiner said:

That claim is leased to a guy in the process of a Plan of Operation. He lives hours away. My partners stop out there on occasion to check the claims. They are all under lease except one. 

I don't know how rich it is but I know that one spot is LOL. The guy that has it leased is out there taking samples from time to time while waiting for the plan to be approved. He carries a 45. So if you are reading this and are the guy stealing gold all I can say is beware.

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