Robbery suspects used Pokémon Go to target victims near St. Louis, police say
O’FALLON, Mo. — Police near St. Louis are warning fans of Pokémon Go after multiple armed robbers apparently used the app to target victims.
Police in O’Fallon, Missouri, said they arrested multiple suspects following reports of an armed robbery on Sunday. Police say the suspects attracted several victims to a specific location by setting up a beacon to a “Pokéstop” to lure more players.
The department wrote on Facebook:
“Many of you have asked how the app was used to rob victims, the way we believe it was used is you can add a beacon to a Pokéstop to lure more players. 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.”
“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 department wrote.
Police say the suspects committed multiple armed robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri.
Pokemon Go turns the premise of the popular Game Boy games into an augmented reality experience played on mobile phones and based on GPS coordinates.
The game is a cooperation between Niantic, Inc., Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company.
“For the first time, with this game, Pokémon are going to roam free in the real world,” John Hanke, CEO of Niantic said.
“Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks, and the countryside in places all around the world,” Hanke added.
Hanke also hinted that popular Pokémon like Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Pikachu are hiding by popular spots like the waterfront in San Francisco.