'Pokémon Go' Launch Faces String of Robberies, Crimes, and Car Accidents

Although Nintendo, Niantic, and The Pokémon Company have a few good reasons to celebrate the launch of their new augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, a couple of incidents related to the game have already begun sprouting up over the past few days, bringing to light a few cautionary tales for everyone delving into the game.

Because it requires players to travel to real-world destinations in order to stock up on Poké Balls, eggs, and potions, and compete at gyms, some individuals have been capitalizing on the game's mechanics to trap and rob its players. According to a Facebook post from the O'Fallon Police Department in Missouri, four people were arrested over the weekend after using a Lure Module at a PokéStop to draw in unsuspecting players and rob them at gunpoint.

Pokemon Go gameplay

"Many of you have asked how the app was used to rob victims, the way we believe it was used is you can add a beacon to a pokestop to lure more players," the police department said in a statement on Facebook. "Apparently they were using the app to locate [people] standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in."

The Lure Modules work as ways to bait more Pokémon into showing up to any PokéStop for 30 minutes, and enhances the Stop's visibility to a glowing pink color when in use, so it's easy for other players nearby to notice. Due to this, other cities across the United States have reported Pokémon Go-related thefts since the game launched last week, including a few in Philadelphia.

Other users playing the game have been lead to a few scary discoveries, including one woman who found a corpse while traveling to a PokéStop in Wyoming. Nineteen-year-old Shayla Wiggins jumped a fence to capture a nearby Pokémon, but instead discovered the dead body of a man who is believed to have drowned in the Big Wind River. According to the local police department, "There is no evidence at this time that would indicate foul play."

Nintendo reminds users to be aware of their surroundings every time the app is opened, and a few states have issued specific warnings as well, but there have also been some driving-related incidents since the game launched. While Pokémon Go encourages players to strike off the beaten path to discover wild Pokémon nearby, most have discovered -- especially in cities where walking is inhibited -- that it's easy to idle past nearby PokéStops and Gyms, already leading to more than a handful of Pokémon Go-influenced accidents.

Pokémon Go is still in its early stages, with Niantic promising continuous updates down the line to enhance player interactivity with the game thanks to the addition of social aspects like Pokémon trading. The company hasn't yet divulged when the first update will be hitting, however, since the app has yet to launch worldwide. Pokémon Go isn't considered one of Nintendo's official smartphone games, but it does appear to hint at a more popular staying power than Miitomo, which launched earlier in the year. Next up the company plans to debut apps related to the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises.

In the United States, Australia, and New Zealand Pokémon Go can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

oneMadRssn Avatar
68 months ago
I think it should be socially acceptable and encouraged, when approached by someone staring into their phone and being totally oblivious to their surrounding (not seeing you to politely move to the side so you can each pass each other), to slap the phone out of their hands and straight onto the pavement.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AtariMac Avatar
68 months ago
Game seems goofy to me, but my 16 year old son has gotten more exercise chasing Pokemon all over town than he has in a long time. He told me that the running joke is that Pokemon Go has done more to get kids moving in 24 hours than Michele Obama was able to in the last eight years.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CapucheNoir Avatar
68 months ago
Wow, didn't expect Team Rocket to be part of this game!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klae17 Avatar
68 months ago
I am not surprised. No joke, I was on my balcony yesterday and I see this guy walking all over the lot with his phone in this inches from his face...my guess is, he was playing Pokemon. Ridiculous.
One guy? There are thousands of us playing. It's a great community. Stay safe everyone!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macpeach55 Avatar
68 months ago
It was difficult enough already to get kids to look up from their phones and avoid being run over or walk off a cliff. Now we have car drivers adding to the chaos.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iLoveDeveloping Avatar
68 months ago
LOL And all people wanted was mario.....
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...