Police in Missouri, USA, have captured thieves who have been abusing the Pokémon Go game to lure victims into robbery schemes.
It’s been reported that several suspects having been using the phone app – which directs users to capture imaginary creatures superimposed onto the real world – to corner players into secluded areas where they are easily robbed.
A certain level in the game leads to players congregating at local meeting places to join teams and ‘battle’. With the thieves also armed with the geolocation feature, they’re able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.
A group of adult suspects were charged with first-degree robbery and felony, and a bond set at $100,000 cash. On the scene of the crime, the suspects were caught attempting to discard a handgun out of the car as an officer approached. The offenders were later identified as the same four suspects of similar armed robberies described in St Louis and St Charles counties.
A statement from police described the lure of the game as “Seeing a Pikachu on the sidewalk in front of you is a fan’s digital dream come true”, warning users to be more alert when encountering strangers in future locations.
Pokémon Go manufacturers actually warns players to keep aware of their surroundings during their virtual treasure hunt, too. In Australia, game-players have ended up in hospital after chasing nonexistent animals into physically dangerous areas. Antonino Tati