Laws about detecting curb strips (AKA Road Verge) in your area.


Nov 20, 2020
Michigan, USA
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT PRO and Pro pin pointer
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
So I am curious to know if anyone has ran into trouble metal detecting around the curb strips (The area between the sidewalk and street) in your town /city?
I have done quite a bit of "Digging" online, and see that these areas are typically considered public property. However, I reached out to my local police department (in Ann Arbor, Michigan) for more info, they got back to me after 1-1/2 months with an email saying "As for public property, it would likely be okay to simply metal detect. However, actually digging up and taking items would be a different matter. For these reasons, I would suggest that you enjoy your hobby on property where you have the expressed permission of the owner". Well this kind of defeats the purpose of the hobby doesn't it? Also if the property is 'Public' can the police restrict this activity? I know there may be different laws State to State, but I see guys digging these areas on Youtube all the time.
Has anyone been approached by the police for detecting these areas?
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Bronze Member
May 7, 2006
Detector(s) used
dfx, Ryedale!
Great question!!! Don’t know of any laws prohibiting this in NJ. Personally just always feel skidish about any onlookers such as passers by, even in cars, not to mention the homeowner on the other side of the sidewalk peering out from behind their curtains. I’d rather detect far from the onlooking eyes of the maddening crowd. ����??? The white lie I thought of using if ever confronted anywhere while detecting is that “my daughter lost a ring in the vicinity” ��
I used to do this (IN NJ even) and when a landowner came out to ask what I was doing, or told me to leave, I'd say "I am looking for some old coins that might have been dropped. I cover all holes and don't destory the grass. And you know what? If you are interested, I'll search in YOUR hard, and split 50% of what I find with you. Granted, I may only find 2 wheat pennies, but getting a wheat penny from your own yard might be interesting to you. ONly worth 3 cents, but the sentimental value of it is great. Can I work your back yard?" I got about 25% of the people saying YES. Hey, it was extra areas and allowed me to find a LOT more over time. And for the 75% of them who were grumpy? I Moved on about 5 houses and continued. It's not like one strip is inherently better than another. I also learned about people who lost items and I found those, and received some cool leads by treating the [people who came out with respect and asking them if I could do more. One lady in Clifton even went inside and sold me 1,000 wheats she had saved for many years for face value of $10. She said she saved them but never had a use for them, and since I was interested in finding them, she thought I'd be a good person to sell them to. So don't take those people as bad.
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Gold Member
Aug 19, 2014
Tarpon Springs
Detector(s) used
JW 8X-ML X2-VP 585
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
My earliest digging around for dropped change started when i was elementary school... my dad had an office downtown and i would dig with my hands around the bases of parking meters.

Later on when i got my first metal detector the very first places i went to were parking meters... but this era was in the beach public parking lot strips... where i immediately learned about a coil VS the steel parking meter pole.
BUT... just off the poles enough... and it was like being in the casino.... ding ding ding.
What amazed me was how many people had dropped change while "feeding the meters".

Many times i would start at the meters... go to the sands... then on way back... hit the meters again.
heh... love those damn strips... they were fun and productive.

Even today.... if i saw an old meter........ I would head right for it. :)

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