The O’Fallon Missouri Police Department issues a statement stating that a group of armed robbers has been arrested after using Pokemon GO to lure in victims.
There’s no questioning the impact that Pokemon GO has had on the masses following its arrival less than a week ago. The app looks to be somewhat of a cultural phenomenon already, with consumers happily roaming the streets in search of Pocket Monsters to call their very own. While that’s all well and good, however, there have been a number of stories popping up recently based on the various situations that players find themselves in while walking around – with a recent one being a rather terrifying ordeal.
According to the O’Fallon Missouri Police Department, a group of armed robbers recently utilized Pokemon GO to lure in hapless gamers and take their personal belongings. The statement about the situation was released on the department’s official Facebook page, where details were laid out regarding how the suspects managed to utilize the app in such a way.
“This morning at approximately 2 am we responded to the report of an Armed Robbery near the intersection of Highway K and Feise Road. We were able to locate four suspects occupying a black BMW a short time later and recover a handgun. These suspects are suspected of multiple Armed Robberies both in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. It is believed these suspects targeted their victims through the Pokemon Go smart phone application.
Many of you have heard of Pokemon Go, but for those that have not, it is a type of Geo Caching game where you find and capture Pokemon characters at various locations. If you use this app (or other similar type apps) or have children that do we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location.
Many of you have asked how the app was used to rob victims, the way we believe it was used is you can add a beacon to a pokestop to lure more players. Apparently they were using the app to locate ppl standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in.”
According to Gizmodo, nine victims in total were caught up in the Pokemon GO-related string of robberies. Fortunately, those responsible have been located and put into custody. What’s so nerve wracking about the entire ordeal though, is the fact that someone can warp the intention of the app manufacturer to such extremes. It’s not even something that took criminals that long to dream up either, so people setting off to catch ’em all in the latest Pokemon game need to keep this incident in mind and be very cautious while out and about in the real world.
Outside of this, another user recently found a dead body while playing Pokemon GO, which just goes to show that anything can happen during walks around one’s town or city. As always, it’s important to be aware of one’s surroundings, so those that have access to the game should keep this in mind as a cautionary tale.