Looking to catch ‘em all with the new smartphone game “Pokemon Go”?
In your hunt to catch virtual Pokemon with the augmented-reality game, you could end up being the catch for a thief.
That’s what police in Missouri say happened early Sunday when they responded to reports of an armed robbery in O’Fallon, according to a department Facebook post. Police believe the four people they arrested were using the app to find victims.
The four were charged with suspected involvement in multiple armed robberies across the state, and a spokesperson told Gizmodo that about eight or nine people have been robbed over the past couple days.
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Police believe the suspects took advantage of an item in the game that allows players to add a beacon to a Pokestop — real local landmarks where you can gather supplies — that attract more Pokemon (and potentially more players) for a short amount of time.
“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,” the department wrote in the Facebook post.
The four suspects, who have not been identified yet, were found in a black BMW. A handgun was also found.
“Pokemon Go,” released by Niantic Inc. on Wednesday, allows players to find and capture digital and beloved Pokemon characters like Pikachu and Jigglypuff across the physical world, and has jumped to become the top-grossing app in the App Store. In their quest to gather the creatures, players have twisted ankles, fallen off skateboards and, in one case, discovered a body. The Darwin Police Station, a Pokestop in Australia, had to advise people that items could be purchased in the game without entering the police station.