Apex police warns Pokemon Go players of real dangers

Andrea Blanford Image
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Apex police gives tips, warnings for Pokemon Go players
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Police said they've gotten increased calls about trespassers and suspiscious persons -- many turned out to be Pokemon Go players

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Local law enforcement are warning of the real dangers associated with a virtual gaming app that's sweeping the nation.

Pokemon Go, the free app that allows users to superimpose a digital world onto the real one while catching animated Pokemon characters, launched this week.

READ MORE: Pokemon Go craze hits the Triangle - here's what you need to know.

In parts of the country, police have responded to assaults and robberies due to unsuspecting gamers being lured into the path of criminals.

READ MORE: Missouri police: Armed robbers used Pokemon Go to target victims.

In Apex, police have responded to six calls in three days about reports of a suspicious person or someone trespassing. Incident reports show groups of people are being spotted lurking in front of businesses after hours and even people's backyards late at night.

Officers are warning gamers to avoid playing the game in those areas and putting themselves at risk.

"The confrontations that could arise from those encounters could be very dangerous," said Capt. Blair Myhand. "It's hard to explain that you're just playing a game - something very innocent - but you're on someone else's property and could technically be breaking a law and putting yourself at risk."

Wake Forest Police sent the following warnings to gamers:

  • Watch out for your surroundings: Look up and be aware of who is around you;
  • Parents, limit places kids can go: Set boundaries to avoid stranger danger for kids who are unattended;
  • Don't Pokemon Go and drive: Catching Pikachu isn't worth crashing;
  • Tell people where you're going if it is somewhere you've never been;
  • Don't trespass: People might call the police if you enter private property and hunting for Pokemon and other virtual characters is no excuse;
  • If you are stopped by police: Show them you are playing a game;
  • Parents - tell your kids about stranger-danger. The way that the game is designed can bring people together in the real world as they search for Pokemon in common areas called "gyms" and "pokestops." Obviously, you never know who you could run into while playing.
  • And as always, if you run into an individual that is seemingly up to no good - don't hesitate to dial 911!
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