Four suspects have been arrested by police in O’Fallon, Missouri, for allegedly using the newly-released “Pokémon GO” game to lure unsuspecting victims and rob them at gunpoint.
The “augmented reality” app combines cartoons with local landmarks, sending players wandering around outside looking for imaginary creatures in the real world.
As part of the game, players can meet up using a geolocation feature.
Authorities say that the four suspects, all aged 16 to 18, used that feature to commit a string of armed robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties.
Apparently, the suspects were setting up a “beacon” in the game, which would lure more players to a specific location. They would then rob their victims at gunpoint.
Police located the suspects at around 2 a.m. Sunday when an officer responded to a robbery call and found the four teens in a vehicle. A handgun was recovered from them.
Police arrested Shane Michael Baker and Jamine James D. Warner, both 18, William Miller, 17, and an unidentified 16-year-old.
The three named suspects were charged with first degree robbery and armed criminal action. The juvenile suspect was transferred to a juvenile justice center.
The Pokémon Company International and Niantic, Inc. released a statement Sunday evening:
We are aware that some incidents have occurred involving fans playing Pokémon GO. We encourage all people playing Pokémon GO to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends when going to new or unfamiliar places. Please remember to be safe and alert at all times. We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Pokémon GO and greatly appreciate the support of our fans.
Read this article why this game might not be so good for you.