YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma Police Department (YPD) is warning ‘Pokemon Go’ users to be aware of their surroundings at all times when playing the game.
The latest mobile application sensation has already lead some players into some risky situations. YPD officers say, over the weekend, they received several calls for people who appeared suspicious but were only looking to catch their next ‘Pocket Monster’ or Pokemon.
The mobile app sends players around town to capture Pokemon in order to fill a Pokedex. YPD officials say the game uses augmented reality via smartphone cameras to show Pokemon throughout communities.
Pokemon Go is getting so popular that even a local church posted on their billboard that they are a Pokestop. A place where gamers can get items to help them on their journey.
Tim True the reverend for the church says he heard about the game from his daughter.
“She’s got her I device and she says, ‘Dad! Oh my goodness! The church is a Pokestop!’ Well what does that mean? So she fills me in and tells me what it means, then I thought this is really fun!” said True, “Let’s just make it work. So this morning when I came to work I decided to let the neighborhood know that we are a Pokestop.”
True noticed how popular the game is after he saw people in his neighborhood out on the streets using the app.
“We saw several groups of people out with their devices looking around playing ‘Pokemon Go’. It was actually quite refreshing to see a lot of people in the neighborhood doing this,” said True.
However, there are other concerns with the app. YPD officials say there’s been reports of people luring players to secluded areas to rob or assault victims while players are hunting for their next Pokemon.
Officers say they want players to have fun and enjoy being ‘out and about’ exploring but remind everyone to use caution and respect private properties.