Four of us, 3 Arizona Site Stewards and one student, had gone to a large site on the NW side of Tucson to monitor for vandalism on State Trust Lands - a permit required area.
As we neared the site we saw a vehicle parked along the dirt road at the south portion of this huge Hohokam trincheras site. We were headed for the north portion but we got into the monitoring mode very quickly.
We crept along the road and we scanned the area for people. We saw no one.
As we approached the parked truck, one of us drove, one got out a notebook and pencil, another got ready to identify make of vehicle, style, color, license plate number and anything that distinguished the vehicle from others such as bumper stickers and the fourth did landscape surveillance.
There was no paper work on the dashboard of the vehicle for this “Permit Only” land. Not a good sign!
All information written down, we went slowly on our way to our parking spot still scanning the massive terraced hill for human activity.
On foot, we toured the area and suddenly the four of us noticed a man with something long slung over his shoulder - a shovel? We were too far away to tell. Well if it was a shovel and he had been digging - we had him!
We went about our business and soon another man joined the first at the vehicle. They got in and drove away.
All the information we had written down about the vehicle, two men, a possible shovel and time of day was called in to Law Enforcement of State Trust Lands.
The next week I was talking to P. F. Professor of Anthropology/Archaeology. I told him we had just been out to the Trincheras site and turned in a report on 2 men and their vehicle - no papers on the dash etc. and we sure hoped that there had not been any digging/vandalism. But we had them hot!
“Yes I got a call about it,” he said. “That was my truck. I had a student with me. Thank you for watching over my research site.”
The hot case went cold! We had turned in our own professor to the cops!