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Armed Robbers Used 'Pokemon Go' App to Lure Victims, Police Say

by Tim Stelloh /
Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016.Richard Vogel / AP

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Four people were arrested in Missouri for multiple armed robberies after authorities said they appeared to have targeted victims using the new "Pokemon Go" game.

Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016.Richard Vogel / AP

In a release, police in O’Fallon, Mo., said that four people in a black BMW with a handgun were arrested shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday following a report of an armed robbery.

The suspects, who were not identified, appeared to have used the app to lure victims, the release said.

In the "augmented reality" game, which was released on July 6, Pokemon characters are hidden in real world locations, where players seek them out for capture.

The suspects appeared to add “beacons” to a “PokeStop” — a blue cube that allows players to strengthen their Pokemon. Doing this, police said, allowed the suspects to attract additional players and locate people “standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever location they were in."

"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," police said.

The news comes two days after a 19-year-old girl in Wyoming went out in search of a “water-type Pokemon,” NBC station KCWY of Casper reported, but discovered a dead body floating in a river instead.

Requests for comment to the Pokemon Company International were not immediately returned.

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