‘Pokémon GO’ Users Face High Probability Of Kidnapping And Robbery? Cops Warn People For Caution

As the Pokémon Company gradually disseminates access to the beta app for Pokémon GO, many users have come to an addictive stage of the game. Though the features are just very basic, the augmented reality feature of Pokémon GO is what makes it more interesting than the traditional games we have this year.

To play Pokémon GO, users would really need to move around and travel from one place to another to find and catch Pokémon. Unlike in virtual reality games where the visuals are controlled in a square foot environment, with Pokémon GO, users are “forced” to stand up and move around—even go outside the house for more options.

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The beta phase is looking to be a success, but as more and more users continue to roam the streets with their smartphones in their hands, cops warned gamers to be cautious.


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Since gamers would need to be on the constant lookout for possible Pokémon in the area, they have to be focused on their smartphones. Pokémon Company noted that they have plans on releasing a $35 wristband that will work as a wearable. The wearable will be a useful tool for gamers because this would mean they do not need to check their smartphones to unlock action features of Pokémon GO.

Still, the police have noted that they have already seen four suspects who wore sunglasses. These suspects were reportedly luring random Pokémon users to conduct an armed robbery spree.

The authorities added that some others were spotted in St. Louis area. Some lures would be a van that would appear to be a Pokéstop. Unfortunately for players, this is not really a place for Pokémon hideouts, but criminal hideouts instead.

According to a press release by O’Fallon Missouri Police Department, they already received a 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.”

Man playing Pokemon
Man playing Pokemon (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

The press release also advised users that the robbers were using the Pokémon app to create a beacon to a Pokéstop to lure more players at a specific location. Now that the robbers have figured out which passerby is just standing around, looking for a Pokémon, that is when they target the gamer.

After the announcement, many users responded in different tones. Users on Facebook are saying that the attacks could be in line with the massive divide with the police departments and the black and LGBT victims that were reported this month.

When a user, Joe Milburn, added the comment, “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” the O’Fallon Missouri Police Department took the time to respond.

“Yes ALL Lives do matter, and the quicker everyone realizes that the better. This incident was a robbery, it had nothing to do with race and everything to do with people taking advantage of other people.”

Because of this, parents and gamers alike were stunned by the news. Though the O’Fallon Missouri Police Department noted that they do not think the suspects have an assumption on Pokémon users, this just made a lot of people worry.

Even before Pokémon GO was released, these concerns were already brought out.

“How would the gamers deal with traffic?”

“How safe is it to use the game in the ‘real world?'”

Now that the worst possibility has happened, Pokémon Company should do something to provide precaution to the users.

[Photo by AP Photo/Richard Vogel]