Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Pokémon Go-related crime wave continues

(Screengrab: Pokémon Go trailer)
(Screengrab: Pokémon Go trailer)

The Pokémon Company recently unleashed its Pokémon Go smartphone game upon the masses, thereby reducing the already dwindling amount of time we spend engaging the outside world. But it’s not just meaningful interaction that’s in danger—now that the “gotta catch ’em all” imperative has crossed over into the real world, it’s led to some perilous circumstances for players. Just one day after its release, a Wyoming teen stumbled across a dead body while trying to nab a Pokémon along the river banks. That’s not the kind of augmented reality players have been looking for.

The game’s loading screen counsels players to “be alert at all times” and “stay aware of your surroundings” while playing, but it doesn’t look like many are taking that advice to heart. An Omaha police officer tweeted about a Pokémon Go-related robbery early Monday morning, repeating the “stay alert” mantra.

We had the first report of robbery while playing Pokemon go in Omaha. Please pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t become a victim.

— Ofc. Ryan Miller (@OPDOfcMiller) July 11, 2016

And as The Daily Dot reports, some oblivious “trainers” were recently robbed at gunpoint in Missouri. The city of O’Fallon’s police department issued a statement indicating that three individuals had been charged with armed robbery, while a fourth suspect has been sent to a juvenile detention center. The suspects reportedly “tracked Pokémon players using PokéStops, finding people searching for Pikachu in isolated areas like the middle of a parking lot,” and robbed at least eight people across two counties.


Niantic, Inc., the augmented-reality game developer behind Pokémon Go, has not yet responded to the Daily Dot’s request for a comment. The game’s international rollout has been slowed, but not by the criminal activity—the intense play has just overwhelmed the servers. Niantic’s already working on resolving the issues, but its current technical difficulties prompted some ribbing from Amazon CTO Werner Vogels.

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