News 11 July 2016
Author: Marisa Lee

Criminals are using Pokémon Go to trap players

Author Marisa Lee
11 July 2016

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm this week, but not everyone is using the game for harmless fun. Police said that this weekend armed robbers used the game to lure victims to an isolated trap in Missouri.

In O’Fallon, Missouri at about 2am on Sunday, officers responded to a robbery report that led them to four local residents aged 16-18 in a car, who tried to throw a handgun out the car when an officer approached them.

The suspects were charged with first degree robbery, and had bond set at $100,000 cash.

Sargeant Bill Stringer said that police believe the suspects used the game to tempt players into secluded areas where they can be easily robbed. At a certain level, players can come together at local landmarks to battle.

“Using the geolocation feature,” Stringer said, “the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.”

Another department spokesperson added, “you can add a beacon to a pokestop to lure more players. Apparently they were using the app to locate [people] standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in.”

They also added a warning to users of the game. “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.”

The game has led to a number of weird incidents this week, leaving people in hospital and leading one woman to a dead body.