Hundreds of Southern Californians flocked to Santa Monica Pier on Monday night, but it wasn’t to take in the beauty of the ocean or enjoy a peaceful ride on the lighted Ferris wheel. The mob was there for Pokémon Go.
Engrossed by their smartphones, fans of the game wandered around the pier looking to catch a Pokémon.
Using real locations, the GPS-focused mobile game app allows users to take trips around their neighborhoods and cities to collect Pokémons, which appear within the game. Developed by Niantic Inc, the new augmented reality game leads “Go” players into Poké Stops, where users can grab virtual loot.
Pokémon Go is sweeping the nation, but law enforcement agencies are warning playing the game comes with risks.
In Missouri, four teens were arrested and accused of using the app to lure users and rob them. Police said at least 10 robberies were committed.
Sheriff’s officials in Virginia issued a stern warning to “Go” users after experiencing an increase in “trespassing and suspicious activity” calls because players were entering businesses, churches and government facilities at all hours.
“These actions are considered trespassing and put the individual and deputies in a position of unnecessary risk. Please refrain from going onto property without proper permission or after appropriate times. Parents should encourage their children to avoid these actions for their own safety and enjoy the game responsibly,” the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office said.
In Wyoming, a woman searching for a virtual creature found a dead body floating in a river.
Many players credit the Nintendo game for pushing them to exercise more. Captivated by the game, some players are walking miles to find and catch Pokémons.
At the Santa Monica Pier, “Go” users walked around for hours, some until 5 a.m. Tuesday.
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