Pokemon Go players targeted in series of armed robberies, police say

Technically Incorrect: Police in O'Fallon, Missouri, warn players of the augmented-reality game to be very careful.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

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Since the launch of Pokemon Go, the augmented-reality game that sends players out into the real world to find Pokemons, there has been excitement and a touch of the macabre.

A Wyoming woman says she found a dead body while searching for a Pokemon in water. Local police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

Now, however, police are warning of more sinister dangers.

Police officers in O'Fallon, Missouri, posted a statement Sunday on its Facebook page saying that there have been a series of armed robberies targeting Pokemon Go players.

The police say they were alerted to an armed robbery at an intersection at 2 a.m. Sunday. They say the suspects have now been connected to a series of armed robberies and they've deduced that the suspects were locating their targets via Pokemon Go.

"You can add a beacon to a pokestop to lure more players," the police said on Facebook. "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."

Sgt. Robert Kendall wouldn't be drawn on how the police worked out the suspects might be using the app.

However he told me: "We arrested all four suspects and recovered a handgun. We felt it important for our residents' safety to share what we did know and remind them to be cognizant of their safety and surroundings."

On Facebook, the police cautioned: "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."

Especially, one would imagine, at 2 a.m.

In answering questions on Facebook, police say shots were fired when they located the suspects and their names will be released on Sunday when warrants are issued.

It might be an amusing game, but please be careful. It's a reasonable suspicion that someone else might try this method.

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