Pokemon GO is an international sensation, and millions of users are entering situations on a daily basis while playing that could put them in danger. Whether it's people planting lures at popular PokeStops to attract robbery victims, car crashes or simply potentially embarrassing NSFW Pokemon photoshoots hitting the web, some users are getting a bit more than they bargained for with this augmented reality game. Two such users found themselves in a park in Northern California at night after work, a place that they would not have been had they not been looking for Pokemon. In that park, the two men had their phones, cash and the vehicle that they were in stolen at gunpoint.
Even if players are aware of their environments and very careful, opportunistic criminals using the game to lure in victims are unlikely to find much resistance at the business ends of their firearms. The possible danger presented by any location-based game, let alone one so popular and featuring a shared map among all players, is very apparent, but in truth, there isn't much recourse against such behavior except for good police work, short of shuttering the app and leaving millions of fans worldwide disappointed. This would, of course, also cut off a huge revenue stream for Google, Apple, Nintendo and Niantic. The incident that took place in Lone Oak Park is just one example. A pair of siblings also saw their smartphones stolen while playing in San Francisco. On the good side of this trend, however, a murder suspect on the run in Fullerton was caught by two ex-marines who would not have been on the scene had they not been on a Pokemon adventure.
Willful criminals victimizing others is not the only new woe that law enforcement officers are enduring due to Pokemon GO. People roaming around strange parts of town with their faces in their phones have garnered a vast increase in calls to the police over suspicious activity from those not in the know, and there have been numerous reports of players either willfully trespassing or stumbling into places they aren't supposed to be in, or public places at odd hours, all in blind pursuit of Pokemon and in-game items.