Chances are, you’ve seen people walking around like zombies recently with their heads buried in their phones, lost in a game of ‘Pokemon Go.’
The popular new scavenger hunt app is free, and it encourages players to walk around and catch Pokemon creatures in different locations, mapped out in real time via GPS tracking on the player’s phone.
The problem is, the game has also given tech-savvy criminals a new way to commit a robbery.
Four teens were arrested in O’Fallon, Missouri for allegedly holding a man at gunpoint after luring him to their location by adding a beacon to a “Pokestop.”
Nikolas Howard said when he got to the beacon, a BMW pulled up with four boys inside, ranging in age from 16 to 18-years-old.
“The kid in the back passenger seat had a silver pistol and he got out of the car and put it in my face, told me to lose my stuff,” Howard said. “It has encouraged me to walk 12 miles in the last 36 hours, so I hope people like this don’t discourage people from playing this game.”
However, O’Fallon Police are sending out a warning to anyone who uses the app to use caution before telling complete strangers of your location.
Police in Aransas Pass, TX sent out this Facebook warning to residents, reminding them that it’s illegal to trespass onto private property, no matter how desperately the player wants to capture the nearest Pokemon creature in their neighbor’s backyard.
In Fremont County, Wyoming, a woman playing the game accidentally stumbled upon a dead body.
19-year-old Shayla Wiggins was looking for a water Pokemon, but when she got closer, she saw the man’s body floating in the water.
“I didn’t know what to do. I was really scared, so I was just like, ‘I should just call 911.’ And then I called 911 and they told me to go wait up at the highway for a police officer.”
The man’s death appears to have been an accident.
As ‘Pokemon Go’ continues to explode in popularity, authorities advise to always be aware of your surroundings while playing the game, to never play it from behind the wheel, do not trespass, and do not release your location.
And this reminder from Yukon Police – it is illegal to enter the roadway while playing the game – no matter how many Pokemon await on the other side.