Pokemon GO players in Kansas City have helped the police to catch armed robbery suspects while out playing the game. This isn't the first time players have aided a criminal investigation, as last year Pokemon GO players helped catch an attempted murderer.
In Kansas City, Tim Johnston and his fiancee spent an afternoon playing Pokemon GO at the Topeka Cemetery, which reportedly has a "good" PokeStop. As the two were playing, a push notification popped up alerting them that police were searching for two armed and dangerous people who were suspects in an aggravated robbery case. The alert also included mugshots of the suspects in question.
Not long after seeing the notification, the Pokemon GO-playing couple spotted the suspects and phoned 911, telling the dispatcher their location and saying that "I have a visual of two suspects you guys are looking for." Police came along to arrest Tamarya Brooks, 32, and Ryan E. Bettcher, 31 who are accused of using a gun and large knives to kidnap and rob a woman. Police booked them on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, criminal restraint, and aggravated kidnapping.
Since Niantic's hugely popular mobile game released last summer, there have been a few cases of 'hero' Pokemon GO players helping police with criminal investigations. While some of them have seen players themselves leap into action, there have also been cases of police using Pokemon GO to lure in fugitives as well.
Unfortunately, there have been plenty of cases of Pokemon GO players finding themselves in danger, too. Earlier this month there came reports of a Pokemon GO player being held at gunpoint while visiting a PokeStop, which is just one of several examples of criminals using the game to take advantage of people. The mobile game has also led to people getting stranded, finding dead bodies, and many more unfortunate and tragic situations.
So, while in this case things turned out for the best and (thankfully) no one was hurt, Pokemon GO players are still encouraged to be careful. The game can be good fun, but players should keep their wits about them; catching 'em all only matters so long as budding Pokemon trainers stay safe as they become the very best.
Pokemon GO is available on iOS and Android.
Source: The Kansas City Star