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This article was published on July 11, 2016

Be careful out there: Armed robbers used Pokémon Go to lure victims

Be careful out there: Armed robbers used Pokémon Go to lure victims
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Yes, Pokémon Go is hot right now and the AR mobile game will almost certainly get you off your couch to explore your city in search of adorable toy monsters. But it could land you in trouble too.

The O’Fallon, Missouri police force reported that it has located four people suspected of multiple armed robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Their modus operandi involved using Pokémon Go to lure victims to locations where they could mug them; so far, 11 teens aged between 16 -18 years have fallen prey in those two counties.

According to a statement from the O’Fallon Police Department, it’s believed that the robbers added a beacon to a Pokéstop (a real-world location where in-game items can be collected) to attract players to a certain location.

It’s likely that developer Niantic Labs and the Pokémon Co. didn’t think of this terrible misuse of their game, but they certainly need to figure out a solution. The game’s international release has been stalled owing to players overloading its systems; hopefully, the global launch will be accompanied by a smart idea for keeping players out of harm’s way.

It isn’t the first horrific experience gamers have had with Pokémon Go: last week, one player reported that they came across a dead body while on a monster-catching adventure, while another captured video of himself being shot at – though the latter case may have been staged.

Hopefully, the game will see people have more pleasant encounters, like this one recounted by Redditor u/SlothOfDoom:

Via The Verge