Cops: Robbers Use Pokémon Go to Find Victims

4 are arrested in Missouri
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2016 2:09 PM CDT
Cops: Robbers Use Pokémon Go to Find Victims
Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

The new Pokémon Go game is turning out to be way more lifelike than intended. Police in Missouri say four teens used the app to lure victims to remote spots and rob them at gunpoint, reports KMOV. Authorities in O'Fallon tell Gizmodo that eight or nine people fell victim to the ruse before the four suspects, ages 16 to 18, were arrested about 2am Sunday in the parking lot of a CVS. Pokémon Go is a combination virtual reality and geocaching game in which players go out in the real world to try to capture imaginary creatures at so-called Pokéstops. “Using the geolocation feature, the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims," a police sergeant tells the Guardian.

In a Facebook post, the O'Fallon police department elaborates: "The way we believe it was used is you can add a beacon to a pokestop to lure more players," it says. "Apparently they were using the app to locate ppl standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in." Whatever the specifics, the statement urges people playing the game—or parents of kids playing it—to be cautious about their surroundings. (In Wyoming, a woman playing the game found a dead body.)

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