Teens used Pokémon Go app to lure robbery victims, police say
Traveling across the land, searching far and wide hasn’t exactly worked out for all Pokémon Go users. After luring victims to their location with the new “augmented reality” app, four suspects have been arrested as police in O’Fallon, Mo., responded to a report of an armed robbery early Sunday.
The teens, whose ages range from 16 to 18, are suspected to be behind 10 to 11 armed robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties in which they allegedly used the app to bait victims, according to Sgt. Bill Stringer. Police also recovered a handgun from the suspects’ black BMW.
“The way we believe (the app) was used is you can add a beacon to a Pokéstop to lure more players,” the O’Fallon Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.
The app, which allows users to interact virtually with Pokémon characters nearby in the real world, has a “Lure Module” that players can use to attract both Pokemon and other users to their location. Pokéstops are locations where players can collect items and level up faster.
No other Pokémon Go related crimes have been reported in the area, according to Stringer.
“It’s causing people to be distracted. They’re going around catching these pikachus,” Stringer said. “Clearly, it’s a distraction.”