wildrose wrote:I just did a 4 days backpacking in Yosemite. When I got my permit, the ranger didn't ask my car's plate number and didn't ask how many cars we had for our group. So I don't think they can link the hikers with the cars parked in the park.
Yes, they can. It takes law enforcement 5 minutes to run a plate and know who owns the car. They'll also see whether the person is reported missing, if the car was reported stolen, or if there are any other alerts placed on it.
We've done that - noticed a car in a lot that looked abandoned and run the plates.
I'm definitely curious about SAR, but I thought of an issue for the car thing, especially for someone like me who lives out east and only gets to come to the Sierras 2x a year... rental cars. I know that (in theory), you could probably get the plate, recognize it is registered to Hertz or whatever, and ask Hertz who is renting the car that week. Issues with that: #1, as someone who travels extensively for work and uses different rental cars 3x week, dealing with customer service at those places (I'm assuming - hoping - law enforcement has different ways of finding things out at these companies) is Russian roulette - one time you get someone helpful, the next five, nothing. The second issue is that sometimes leaving messages in reference to certain vehicles with the rental car companies triggers 'an alert' - i.e. they report it possibly stolen. In South Carolina I had Hertz do this to me because there was a mix up with plates at the counter. Their philosophy is just to report it, and sort out the details later. Anyways, the police department in Greenville was really nice and helpful (got pulled over for a speeding ticket, and the plates were run), but it still took an hour on the phone with Hertz at the station to convince them to call the cops and tell them it wasn't stolen. They apologized and comped me 1/2 day's rental (whoop dee doo).
I'm assuming I'm not the only one with a rental car in there - how do you all deal with them?
Also, on the issue of the SPOT messenger - have you have a lot of screw ups by people? Interesting little blurb in an article about how dumb people are with those things (a group of four guys hit the 911 button THREE SEPARATE TIMES on the Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon because "the water tasted too salty.")... just curious if the SAR's job got a little harder because of it.
Cheers and looking forward to the Rae Lakes at the end of August!