Teens used Pokemon Go to lure victims to robberies in Missouri

ST. LOUIS, July 11 (UPI) — The Pokémon Go game app was used by four teens to lure victims to isolated areas in Missouri and rob them, police said on Sunday.

Four teens, ages 16 to 18, were arrested early Sunday in O’Fallon, Mo. and charged with first degree robbery in connection with up to 11 armed robberies around the St. Louis area involving the game. It is one of a string a various bizarre events around the country that have happened in the few days since the game debuted.

The four teens were spotted by officers responding to a robbery call said Sgt. Bill Stringer. The teens, parked in a CVS parking lot in a black BMW and tried to toss a gun when an officer approached the car. They’re being held on $100,000 bail.

In the game app, users can capture animated creatures superimposed onto the real world. Police believe the teens lured players to secluded areas through the game and robbed them.

“Using the geolocation feature,” Stringer said, “the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.”

The game’s “Lure Module” allows users to bring players to their location, called Pokéstops. There, they can collect items and level up faster.

The department added a warning, however. “If you use this app (or other similar type apps) or have children that do we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location.”

Other strange events that have happened to players since the release of the game earlier this month: People have tried to play while driving, have injured themselves following the characters into dangerous spots, and ended up in a private home wrongly identified as a church.

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