A wildly popular new Pokemon game was used by a group of armed robbers to find victims, police in Missouri say.
Pokemon Go, a game that allows players to capture and collect fanciful creatures that they find in the real world as part of the phone app's "augmented reality", has now been blamed for accidents and crimes across the globe since it was introduced just days ago.
In Missouri, police said late Sunday that they've apprehended four teens, one of whom is a juvenile, who are suspected of robbing at least 11 victims they allegedly targeted using the Pokemon Go app, according to the New York Daily News.
Shane Baker and Jamine Warner, both 18, and 17-year-old Brett Miller have been charged by the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.
Bond was set in the amount of $100,000.00 cash only. The suspects will be transferred to the St. Charles County Department of Corrections.
The juvenile suspect was transferred to the St.Charles County Juvenile Justice Center.
The O'Fallon Police Department explains in a Facebook post that users are able to add beacons to in-game locations that are connected to real world locations. The beacons lure users by offering them the chance to catch Pokemon.
"Apparently they were using the app to locate [people] standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in," O'Fallon police wrote.
The police department warned parents about the potential dangers of the app, which clearly warns users as it loads to remain aware of their surroundings during game play.
"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," O'Fallon Police said.
The Missouri jurisdiction is far from alone in their caution regarding the app.
As far away as Australia, authorities have expressed concern about the situations players may wander into while on a quest for rare Pokemon. One of those situations is a police station in Darwin, the AP reports.
A Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services station also happens to be a Pokestop where users can replenish supplies in the game.
"You don't actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs," the department wrote in an unamused Facebook post.
Back stateside, a Long Island man tumbled off his skateboard and injured his hand while hunting Pokemon.
And in what may be the strangest misadventure tied to Pokemon hunting yet, a Wyoming girl found a body in a river after climbing over a fence to capture one of the imaginary monsters.
Shayla Wiggins, 19, called 911. Investigators have since said the death appears to be accidental.