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Of course criminals are using Pokémon Go to mug people

Four men used Pokémon Go to locate and lure potential victims and then rob them at gunpoint.

Published onJuly 11, 2016

Pokemon Go teaser

The popularity of Pokémon Go isn’t causing problems just for the folks at Niantic Labs, who had to halt the game’s rollout due to server overload. For some people, playing Pokémon Go has led to the very real and very unpleasant experience of getting robbed.

According to police in O’Fallon, Missouri, four men used Pokémon Go to locate and lure potential victims and then rob them at gunpoint.

It’s not very clear what role Pokémon Go played, but apparently the four crooks added a beacon to remote pokéstops, which are in-game locations where players can acquire valuable virtual items like eggs and poké balls. The criminals then relieved the victims of their valuable, real items, like money and phones.

Police said a total of eleven persons were robbed with this method in the St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri. They were all Pokémon Go players between 16 to 18 years-old. The four suspects were apprehended on Sunday morning at 2AM, shortly after police received reports of an armed robbery in the area.

O’Fallon police had a word of advice for Pokémon Go players:

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.

So, there, you can now add “getting robbed” to the list of troubles people have got themselves into while roaming the world in search of pokémon. Suddenly, finding dead bodies and inadvertently entering police stations in the Australian Outback don’t seem such a big deal anymore.

Stay safe out there, folks!