Monday, July 18, 2016

Have You Caught a #Pokemon

by Kim D.

My step-daughter, 27, couldn't help herself - she introduced my six-year-old son to Pokemon Go, the new gamer app that is all the rage. So, on vacation, my son was bugging me, when not occupied on the beach, for my phone, wanting to see if he could find and trap a Pokemon. 

Thinking at first that it was harmless, I downloaded the app, an action I quickly regretted. As with just about everything these days, some among us take things a tad bit too far, and those caught up in the Pokemon Go phenomenon are finding themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Just now, Time reports:
The teenagers, who were shot at “several times,” were not injured and said they sped away as soon as they heard gunshots, according to a statement from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. They said the car they were in had a flat tire and bullet holes in the rear tire, hubcap and fender after the incident, which is under investigation, authorities said.
The homeowner, whose identity has not been released, told police he approached the vehicle while armed with a handgun and ordered the driver not to move. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said the man fired the gun after the vehicle accelerated toward him. It’s unclear if any charges were filed. 
I won't pretend to understand Pokemon - I don't and hopefully my son will get back on his Minecraft kick and forget about this new game, and I can "accidentally" delete the app. We already live in a crazy world, and no Japanese cartoon character is worth being in a car accident or falling victim to those who would use the game to trap victims. According to Forbes,
A group of teens were using the new Pokémon GO app to target victims for robbery, according to O’Fallon, Missouri Police Department, and are suspected to have robbed 10-12 victims before being caught.
The police report depicts a scary scenario:
“This morning at approximately 2 am we responded to the report of an Armed Robbery near the intersection of Highway K and Feise Road. We were able to locate four suspects occupying a black BMW a short time later and recover a handgun. These suspects are suspected of multiple Armed Robberies both in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. It is believed these suspects targeted their victims through the Pokemon Go smart phone application.
“Many of you have heard of Pokemon Go, but for those that have not, it is a type of Geo Caching game where you find and capture Pokemon characters at various locations. 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.”
Many of you have asked how the app was used to rob victims, the way we believe it was used is you can add a beacon to a pokestop to lure more players. Apparently they were using the app to locate ppl standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in” 
For those thinking this craze will go away soon, don't count on it. Walking through the airport late last night, Brookstone displayed a giant sign beckoning Pokemon Go players to come in and show a caught character for $5 off any purchase.  It appears everyone is trying to find a way to capitalize on the Pokemon mania.

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