Posting this more as a heads up than anything else, or more for me to vent a little about letting my guard down and not securing valuable items. If I was the only victim, I would probably let it go, but it turned out to be a camp wide incident.
Last Friday morning, hiked down to Havasu camp grounds, spent sat doing Mooney, Havasu, and hanging out, hiked out early Sunday morning. This was our 2nd time down there and we wanted to share the experience with some people who had never been there before. A great trip, until the last night.
When I woke early Sunday to start packing up I noticed the top pouch on my backpack was open, I got a weird felling as I walked over to investigate. There was 5 of us in our group, we had 2 tents and in my tent we had 3 people in a 2 person tent so there was no room for gear in there. Our packs were hanging from a tree branch maybe 3-4 feet from the tents. All 5 bags were gone through and 4 of us had items stolen. They went through the top compartment, lower compartment and the pouch on the belt, never touched the main compartment. I lost out the most, from me they took, Sunglasses (prescription btw), solar charger, Garmin watch, and a ziplock bag that contained a pack of AAA batteries and the charging cords for my phone and Garmin. From my girlfriend they took Sunglasses, Garmin watch, and $25 in cash. The other couple they took sunglasses and a point and shoot camera, the 5th person in are group was smarter than us and had nothing of value in her pack. The other interesting item was there was another backpack tossed on the ground obviously from some other camp site tossed on the ground near by. I figure they must have gone through it there and just dumped the bag off. Another interesting tid bit is that they took both of our Garmins, but left the heart rate monitor chest straps behind.
Left us all in a bad mood on the way out and I kept thinking about who was camped near by us and couldn't think of any obvious "suspects" but it turns out, we weren't the only victims, this was not an isolated incident.
We hiked out and when we got to the Hill top parking lot there was a large group of people who must have got up there just before us and one of the girls was crying. A short chat discovered that they too had many items stolen that night, the girl who was crying said they took all her cash and she was still trying to figure out how she was going to get home with no money.
We were hanging out at the truck up there and drinking our gatorades, and just discussing stories from out trips when we saw a group that was camped next to us arrive at the top and over heard one of the girls say "at least they didn't take all your money" My girlfriend and I looked at each other and we went over to talk to them. Sure enough, they had their packs broken into as well. The one lady said when she came out in the morning her backpack was dumped out and she was missing her money, go pro, solar charger and some other random items. She said they stopped at the check in office on the way out to report it and the lady at the counter went and got her the Camp Director. I don't know if that's the official title, but she kept referring to this person as the Camp Director. She said the director made it sound like this sort of thing happens from time to time. They had her make a list of missing items and took her name and email and said they would let her know if anything shows up. This director also said if it was a tourist that took the stuff, its long gone, if its a local person, its such a small community, they will usually hear through the grape that so - n - so has a bunch of go pros. So this led her to believe its happened before.
When talking to this director person, they told her that it was a large number of people that were hit, and so far everyone who made a report was missing a solar charger, that's the hot item, and her go pro was the 7th one gone missing at that point. This lady said she mentioned it's weird that they left my phone, and the directed said, well phones can be tracked, which is true. There was also a large group that had constructed a chicken wire fort to store all their bags. I saw this and thought it was to keep the squirrels out, I guess they all had stuff missing too and their fort was wired shut. This was a camp wide issue.
I'm not posting this to disuade people from going down there, its still awesome. The first time we went we had zero problems, we talked to another victim and it was his 4th time down there and again, never an issue before. I would bet there will be several replies from people with no issues either. I'm simple just letting people know to keep an eye on your stuff, you never know what can happen!