Armed robbers used Pokemon GO to lure players into trap
Pokemon Go has become somewhat of a craze since it launched last week, hitting the top of the most downloaded app lists within days.
And while Poketrainers around the world revel in the game’s augmented reality gameplay, there are those who have used it for more nefarious reasons.
Criminals in Missouri robbed 11 teenagers at gunpoint on Sunday by using Pokemon Go to lure them to their black BMW in an isolated area.
Police in O’Fallon recovered a handgun after responding to a robbery report at 2am, which led them to the four suspects, all local residents aged 16 to 18, in a supermarket car park.
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The game uses real-world maps and superimposes Pokemon on the real-world through your phone’s camera
It is believed the four suspects set up a ‘beacon’ at a Pokestop – a location where players can restock their supplies – to attract 11 players to their car before they were caught.
In an update on Facebook, the O’Fallon Missouri Police Department said: “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 pokestop to lure more players.
“Apparently they were using the app to locate ppl [sic] standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in.”
A previous update stated that all three adult suspects were charged with Robbery 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action.
The fourth juvenile suspect was transferred to a Juvenile Justice Center.
What is Pokemon Go?
Related: How to download Pokemon Go in the UK right now
A further update from the Police revealed the suspects are also suspected of multiple Armed Robberies both in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties.
Pokemon Go launched last week in Australia and the US, has been downloaded millions of times, and is on track to have more daily users than Twitter.
The game has already given rise to numerous bizarre situations, with players wandering into a police station in Australia in search of supplies, and one player in Wyoming discovering a dead body while using the app.
Although the game is yet to launch officially in the UK, many players have managed to download and install the app using an APK on Android, or by setting up a new Apple ID and registering their country as Australia or the US.
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Have you been using Pokemon Go? Let us know what you think in the comments.