While the newly launched Pokemon GO might be encouraging folk to get out of the house and socialise on their quest to catch ’em all, it’s not all sweetness and light.
Unfortunately, authorities in O’Fallon, Missouri have warned on Facebook that armed robbers are targeting players of the Augmented Reality mobile game.
Here’s the statement in full:
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 smartphone application.
Authorities believe that the robbers were using Pokemon GO to plant lure items by Pokestop locations, enticing would-be trainers into one spot.
If you’re one of the ten people left that hasn’t played the game yet, Pokestops are landmarks or points of interest that players can visit to receive items.
‘Lure Modules’ can be planted by Pokestops to attract more Pokemon to a location and, by extension, attract more players who can see a lure has been placed.
All four suspects were arrested, while Sgt. Robert Kendal reminded players to be aware of their surroundings and stay safe at all times, even if a Mew tries to coax you down a dark alley.
Despite not being out in Europe yet, Pokemon GO was undoubtedly the game of the weekend for people all over the world.
The app is already being praised for the way it’s getting people outside and exploring – Just remember to stay safe, and maybe don’t go sniffing around Pokestops alone, or late at night.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.