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Twitter Clues Make Real-Life Treasure Hunt – Clues Led Seekers to Hollywood Today

Posted Thursday, January 1, 1970 - 1:42 am

The @HiddenCash craze spread to Hollywood and the Eastside today, as Internet game master played a trick as he made the second of two cash drops in the City of Angels.

The final clue was tweeted at 3:18 p.m., and sent people to Hollenbeck Park in East L.A. An LAPD intelligence unit that monitors social media alerted the Hollenbeck station, and they had officers there in seven minutes, Sgt. Michael Morisseau told City News Service.

There were already sveerla hundred people there, they were well-behaved, traffic was orderly and no incidents were reported, the sergeant told CNS.

The morning drop saw people rush to a dog park in the Los Feliz District in the 11 o’clock hour, where loot was stashed in plastic bottles that had carried soap for bubble-making. The day’s first clue showed a bottle with the caption “LA: Are you ready to play with bubbles today?”

It also had a handwritten sign on it that said “twitter @HiddenCash” and a goofy face.

That was followed by an 11:15 a.m. tweet that showed four photos and said “@HiddenCash got got inspired by you telling young people to go outdoors.” One of the pictures was of the statue of a young Smokey dancing an entrance to Griffith Park.

@HiddenCash posted a small Smokey The Bear doll holding a sign that asked winners to tweet photos of themselves to @smokey_bear, and minutes later, the first shot appeared.

Then at 2:50 p.m., @HiddenCash tweeted that the final drop from his trip to L.A. was in a park, with a great view of downtown. He did not specify which park, or which downtown.

Dozens rushed to Grand Park in the Civic Center, but perhaps that was too obvious. At 3:20, the game master gave it away: Hollenbeck Park, just east of the Golden State (5) Freeway and with a gorgeous view of the L.A. skyline.

Earlier this weekend, @HiddenCash had stuffed hundreds of dollars into some plastic Angry Birds figurines overnight Friday night, and tweeted the location late Saturday morning: south of the Hermosa Beach Pier.

He or she also stashed cash in various parts of Southern California Thursday and Friday. But @hiddencash said today is it, as it’s time to leave L.A. after today’s fun.

“More drops tomorrow, then bye bye L.A. :(” @hiddencash said Saturday.

The self-identified wealthy real estate developer started the Hidden Cash craze last month in the San Francisco area.     Pasadena, Glendale and East Los Angeles were among the benefactors’ other Southland stops.


Update, Sunday, June 1 – 12 Noon

(CNS) – An anonymous philanthropist who has been hiding money around San Diego County announced via Twitter that more cash would be dropped somewhere in the region sometime today.

The person responsible for the first of the local scavenger hunts began using the @sdcashstash account last week to tweet out clues, which led a few lucky San Diegans to envelopes filled with up to $100 near Mission Bay and in Escondido.

He or she joined in the @HiddenCash Internet phenomena that started in San Francisco and has since spread to Los Angeles, San Diego and around the world.

That mystery donor said via Twitter “San Diego drop later today!” but in an earlier tweet said he or she would not be providing as many hints in an effort to “avoid unsafe crowds.”

A second San Diego benefactor, using the @SDHiddenCash handle, also began enticing San Diegans last week with the online post. “Our cash caches will span across all of the Greater San Diego area. You are never too far away to come up lucky!” The Tweets also said a “test drop” was planned this week.

The next posting revealed the first clue to the small prizes, along with a photo of several plastic bags tied together. “Our test run will feature a breezy spot so head west before the afternoon sun and the marine layer burns off,” it said.

The most recent post from @SDHiddenCash was a link to a website showing social issue advertisements — again featuring plastic bags.

On Saturday, someone using the Twitter account @HiddenCash sent out clues that led those in the Los Angeles-area to 36 “Angry Birds” figurines stuffed with money at Hermosa Beach.

The original @HiddenCash account promised today there would be one last giveaway in Los Angeles Sunday, but said he was then departing that area after that.

Update, Saturday, May 31 – 5:25 PM Money hidden in the Los Angeles area by a man bent on sharing some of his wealth with total strangers has caused excitement for many and joy for a lucky few who have found the hidden treasure, but police today were wary of potential public safety hazards caused by cash-crazed crowds.

Hundreds, possibly thousands of people converged on the Empire Center in Burbank Thursday night after the man, who goes by the Twitter handle @HiddenCash, left hints on the social media site directing people to the area.

Burbank police lamented that they had no chance to prepare for the influx of people. Cash has also been found in Pasadena and other parts of the Los Angeles area and @HiddenCash, who began his stunt in the Bay Area, promises to leave more money in Los Angeles beach areas on Saturday.

He told radio station KNX-AM (1070) that he shares concerns about public safety, but police are nonetheless worried that some people might go overboard and endanger themselves and others while making a dash for the cash.

The Los Angeles Police Department is monitoring social media to keep a handle on potential problems and where they might arise, said Officer Drake Madison of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section.”

All of our divisions are aware of the potential that a mass influx of people can raise safety issues,” he said, citing problems such as people walking in the street, running into traffic or driving too fast as they try to reach an area where @HiddenCash has directed them via Twitter clues.

The cash amounts have ranged from tens to hundreds of dollars. Madison said the man behind it all wasn’t doing anything illegal and so far it has been all fun, but that could change in an instant. For that reason, police were asking the public to “take a little bit of a common-sense approach” and not get carried away, he said.

“Safety should not be compromised (for the sake of) a few hundred bucks,” Madison said. “We’re trying to get them to understand that common sense part of it.” Drivers and pedestrians should obey all traffic laws when on a treasure hunt, he said. Madison also warned people to avoid potential arguments over found cash, expressing the hope that fights over the money don’t break out. So far, they haven’t. “Keep everything in perspective and (don’t) put yourself or other people in jeopardy,” Madison advised.

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