Is there no crime at Burning Man? : LUSENET : Burning Man : One Thread

I have done A LOT of research on BM, and In all the articles I have seen, only one person admitted to being ripped off at BM. I have been making a lot of lists, and checking them twice,(my wife says I'm obssessing a little) about what to do/make/buy/find for BM '99, and the security issue puzzles me. You cram 15,000 transient strangers into a small space. All of them bring their prettiest baubles to show off. Many are stoned on their butts for long periods. Many are away from their camps for long periods. And there are no pedators lurking about? Excuse my cynicism, but I think not. And yet no one talks about it. 'tis a puzzlement.

-- David Lathram (, November 05, 1998


REMSA employees have been known to use drugs against people out at burning man to rape women.

-- Herb Brady (, September 29, 2001.

Amazing -- that's the problem with media, information and a controlled environment(which BM is, these days) -- no one ever gets the nitty gritty.

From Thursday through Sunday, I monitored the Rangers on their various radio frequencies(in the UHF business band, from what I can tell) == there were numerous reports of theft, ranging from bicyles to musical instruments, as well as several reported assaults(verbal and physical) and at least one date rape incident, wherein the party was caught and arrested sometime Sunday. And keep in mind this wasn't 24/7 listening -- just when I had the time. The information obtained was all between dispatch and the Rangers out wandering the city.

And of course this doesn't include the 15+ drug-related REMSA dispatches I heard, the HazMat spill(spilled blackwater tank on an RV), the overflowing portapotties(the verbatim statement was "People are now shitting on the floors of the portapotties) and other sundry incidents.

Glad I don't pay to go.

-- Desert Squid (, September 07, 2000.

I was ripped off in '97. The reason the Sheriff's don't hear a lot about the crime is that the Rangers discourage reporting it. Makes them look bad.

Crime does occur. If you bring an ORV this year, the BMOrg will impound it at the gate. A good oppertunity to get ripped off IMNSHO.

-- Robert Kennedy (AKA The Devil) (, June 27, 2000.

According to a ranger I spoke with on friday, a lot of bikes were being stolen. However, at the end of the burn, there were also a lot of ownerless bikes at the ranger station... so I'm not sure how many bikes were actually lifted and taken home, rather than borrowed for a spin and dropped somewhere convenient. According to some other site I saw, there were something like 4-6 arrests, but I don't know what for.

Still, 4-6 arrests, over a period of a week, in a city with a maximum population of over 20,000 is quite an impressively low statistic. :)

-- llyra de la mere (, September 15, 1999.

I felt amazingly safe out there, it was wonderful. I had wondered about locking the rv and thought that was pretty small minded and decided to leave those kinds of worries behind. Glad I did, everything went fine, the only thing I lost was a pale green slip that I had to take off and give to the muse when I spun a karma wheel, biked home naked, that was weird and wonderful and freeing. The only thing I know was stolen was a polaroid camera from the photo tent at The Gyna Tree, don't know if they ever got it back. Really sucks though, bad juju for the thief.

Love you, jacqui

-- Jacqui (, September 10, 1999.

I believe I was a victim of GBH dosing.... one momment i was happy with all my friends(this is wayyy out on the playa, mind you) next momment I was all alone, my face on the playa, my tounge like dry leather, the city on the horizon about an hour walk away...luckily I found a bottle of water in a discarded backpack...then I hobbled back to my camp...i made it back at about was an experience

-- Kilgore Trout (, September 08, 1999.

I've read, on a bulletin board, a total stranger recounting a third-hand account of date rape. It was an acquaintance and they were on MDMA (eXtasy) so it sounds more ambiguous than a typical frat party incident.

I've heard first-hand accounts of a stranger slipping a drug called GBH into his martini. Even the strongest proponents of GBH admit that it's terrible to mix with alcohol. This was unambiguously criminal and contributed to the land yacht crash into Pepe's Tower.

A friend of mine had her bike stolen from in front of Bianca's. I think it was returned a couple days later.

I am not surprised that theft is very rare. The baubles I bring may be precious to me, but none of them have much value for other people. And as for stealing to make mischief, there is usually a lot more fun to be had by making mischief with other people there, rather than against them.

I'll bet you could call the Washoe or Pershing County Sherrifs to see what's reported, which won't be all the crime, but some.

-- Russell Mast (aka Nobody) (, March 22, 1999.

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