Popular Pokemon Go app poses danger

Published: Jul. 11, 2016 at 9:11 AM EDT
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It's the newest viral app: Pokemon Go. The app craze has people everywhere glued to their smartphones trying to catch Pokemon. The app was released on mobile devices last week in the United States and the popular game has turned sidewalks and roads into a virtual arena for gamers.

Players are racing down streets on the hunt for checkpoints where they earn prizes and catch little Pokemon creatures.

But while the game seems fun, police are now sounding the alarm saying it can be dangerous.

In O'Fallon, Missouri, police say robbers used the game to lure victims into a parking lot by putting a beacon at a location to attract players to that exact spot.

A gamer was robbed by four teenagers ages 16 to 18 at gunpoint. Police say the teen suspects may have been involved in similar robberies around the St. Louis area.

Police in Riverton, Wyoming say Pokemon Go led a woman to a dead body. Shayla Wiggins says she wanted to catch the water Pokemon so she went for a walk in hopes of finding the Pokemon but instead she found a body face down in the river. Authorities are investigating the man's death but think he may have drowned. Wiggins say she still will continue her hunt for the water Pokemon.

Pokemon Go is so addicting that people are just not putting their phones down. The user must keep their eye on their phone while hunting down digital monsters while walking and that presents another danger: they are not looking where they are going.

Players have ended up in the hospital with twisted ankles, people have walked into trees and revolving doors, hurting themselves while playing the game.

Police are warning people especially parents that if you play the game, use caution especially when alerting strangers of a location you're headed to.

The Developer of the app says Pokemon Go should not be played while driving or riding a bike. Some users also advise if you're playing the game at night, don't do it alone, travel in packs and use common sense when walking.

Strangely, there is an upside to all the madness: The game is forcing people to exercise more and historical landmarks are incorporated into the app as "Pokestops" so gamers are getting a little bit of history as well.