Police in Missouri say four robbery suspects have been charged after luring victims to specific locations in St. Louis and St. Charles counties using the Pokemon Go smartphone game.
PRESS RELEASE UPDATE ON ARMED ROBBERY FROM 07-10-16.
All three adult suspects involved in our Armed Robbery have… https://t.co/1VVAAOukuz
— O'Fallon (MO) Police (@ofallonpolice) July 10, 2016
According to police, Shane Baker, 18, Brett Miller, 17, and Jamine Warner, 18, were charged with robbery and armed criminal action. The fourth suspect, who is a juvenile, was taken to a local juvenile justice center.
Police say the suspects allegedly targeted their victims through the application. They are believed to be behind 10 to 11 armed robberies, according to Sgt. Bill Stringer. Police also recovered a handgun from the suspects’ black BMW.
Police believe the suspects were using the app to locate people standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in, known as “Pokestops” in the game, where players can gather supplies such as Pokeballs.
No other Pokémon Go related crimes have been reported in the area, according to Stringer.
The Pokémon Company International and Niantic, Inc., released a statement Sunday in regards to the alleged robberies.
“We are aware that some incidents have occurred involving fans playing Pokémon GO. We encourage all people playing Pokémon GO to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends when going to new or unfamiliar places,” the statement said. “Please remember to be safe and alert at all times. We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Pokémon GO and greatly appreciate the support of our fans.”