Pokémon Go Is Fueling Armed Robberies, Say Police

A group of alleged robbers are suspected of using Pokémon Go to lure their victims to a secluded area in Missouri.

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If you thought getting busted by your boss or randomly being traumatized by discovering a dead body floating in a river were the worst things that could happen due to your Pokémon Go addiction, you are mistaken. Police in O'Fallon, Mo. say that a group of armed robbers there were using the augmented reality game app to draw people to a spot and rob 'em all. 

After receiving a report of an armed robbery early Sunday morning, officers arrested four suspects in a BMW and recovered a handgun, police said. The suspects, who were not identified, targeted their victims through the Pokémon Go app, O'Fallon Police explained in a news release posted to Facebook.

Police in Missouri say robbery victims were being targeted through Pokemon Go pic.twitter.com/8j4z3cIAlm

— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) July 10, 2016

The game, which forces players to go outside and walk to places in real life, contains "Pokéstops," where players go to re-up on Pokéballs and other in-game items. 

"... 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 standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in," police said.

Sgt. Bill Stringer expanded on that in a statement to Buzzfeed.

"Using the geolocation feature of the 'Pokemon Go' app, the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims," he said. 

The suspects are accused of multiple robberies in the area and surrounding counties.

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