Pokémon GO players robbed at gunpoint

Pokémon GO players robbed at gunpoint

Photo by cartelpress.com

If you’ve been on the internet for like two minutes, then you’ve probably already heard of Pokémon GO. This extremely popular app combines cartoons and local landmarks, and sends users on quests to look for places to catch monsters. Users can also stop at “Poke Stops” and collect supplies and “gyms” to let their characters battle.

But the game seems to be causing some problems too, as some Pokémon GO players from Missouri were robbed at gunpoint while being in a location from the game, reports The Huffington Post.

One of the players, Nikolas Howard, said that a black BMW pulled up when he arrived at a Poke Stop in O’Fallon, Missouri on Saturday night.

“There were four kids inside. The kid in the back passenger seat had a silver pistol. He got out of the car and put it into my face, told me to ‘lose my stuff,'” he declared.

The police already arrested Shane Michael Baker and Jamine James D. Warner, both 18, and an yet unidentified 16-year-old for a series of robberies all related to Pokémon GO. The department wrote on Facebook that “It is believed these suspects targeted their victims through the Pokémon GO smartphone application.”

Although the police suspects that the robbers used a “beacon” in the app to call more players to a specific location, one of the victims claims there was no beacon, and he was just robbed at a Poke Stop: “I was walking down a dark street towards a slightly out of the way Poke Stop and I got robbed by four kids in a black BMW. Everyone is reporting this as cunning teenagers use a lure to capture unsuspecting Pokémon players, and that’s not quite correct.”

The three named suspects were charged with first degree robbery and armed criminal action, with a bond of $100,000. The fourth unnamed suspect, still a minor, was transferred to the juvenile justice center.

This is not the first time that people playing Pokemon Go have put themselves into dangerous situations just to catch a Pokémon. The Pokémon Company and Niantic, makers of the game, even released a statement asking players “to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends when going to new or unfamiliar places.”

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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.