back to article Teen thugs lure, rob Pokemon Go gamers

Enterprising teen thugs have used a feature in the virally-popular Pokemon Go mobile game to lure and rob gamers. The mobile app, released last week, uses augmented reality to overlay Pokemon around the real world, requiring players to walk around to collect the famed characters. Police at the US State of Missouri's O’Fallon …

  1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    It's all changed since my fly fishing days.

    I feel old.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: It's all changed since my fly fishing days.

      I was more a fan of Saga bass fishing myself...

      1. NotBob

        Re: It's all changed since my fly fishing days.

        Back when we could only play one game at a time on our "portable" systems. Then again, AA batteries were easy to come by.

        Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go yell at those kids on my lawn..

        1. Jemma Silver badge

          Re: It's all changed since my fly fishing days.

          Ah the days when you could get a 4 day life out of a pair of AA batteries.. I had an Ericsson mc12 palmtop for a while at university, excellent little thing, full keyboard, flashable system ROM and a really quite good Greyscale screen. Even connected to the net via mobile phone over IR.

          I think from memory it could run Windows 3.1 and Wolfenstein (say goodbye to your eyeballs, I don't know refresh rate but it was something abysmal) slowly...

          Now I feel old too..

  2. Brian Miller

    Change the software...

    Good idea: gaming kids should meet somewhere safe.

    Bad idea: gaming kids should meet, ah, wherever someone pins something on a map...

    First, there was the story about the dead body in the river. Well, the developers kind of can't help that. But maybe they can help with where people choose to advertise for imaginary Pokemon critters.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge


    More eejits wandering around in people's way engrossed with their mobile device!

    I call them iZombies.

    1. CustardGannet

      Re: Great

      Personally, I call them 'Meanderthals'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great

        I call them "stupid f*****rs who don't look where they're going and need a very large guy walking along the street to barge them out of the way like Richard Ashcroft in the Bitter Sweet Symphony video".

        But "meanderthals" is probably catchier.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This manufactured Pokemon craze

    is about as authentic as Pulled Pork.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This manufactured Pokemon craze

      He he he. Pulled pork. Snigger.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: This manufactured Pokemon craze

        You seem to be demeaning to Muslims and possibly TheEthnicityThatShallNotBeNamed?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This manufactured Pokemon craze

      Pulled pork is perfectly prop... er, authentic in itself. At least it was in the US where it came from.

      And there's nothing wrong with that in principle. It's not exactly been a trade secret that cooking even cheaper cuts of food longer and slower often gives much tastier results.

      The problem is that in the UK et al, it's become a hipster fad due to all those shows like "Man vs. Food", and every large fast food chain has tried to jump on the bandwagon with their own mediocre co-options of the fad.

      If you're an American wondering what the problem is with pulled pork, that's it.

  5. Jemma Silver badge

    Heavy machine guns for full backs...

    This is a wonderful idea for restarting human evolution...

    Would even give unemployable criminals a steady paying job for the government...

    All they'd need is a 6 hour modded lure module and a GPMG (or a Lewis if they happen to be into steampunk) and just pot the iZombies (thank you) as they get within range. It's a win/win. Society gets rid of those annoying idiots that wander across roads like suicidal roadkill/trip over stones/walk into trees etc and human evolution becomes a viable process again. Darwin would be so pleased.

    It'd even help the sadly unbeleagured armaments industry and create more jobs there.

    Admittedly there is the sad fact that some of the iZombies may have already bred, but there's always Pokemon:Go II...

  6. Jemma Silver badge


    Vintage Lewis. 303 machine gun - £400

    10 belts ammunition for above - £150

    Ridding the world of iZombies - Priceless..

    1. Wupspups

      Re: or...

      That would be 10 drums of ammunition actually. Lewis gun never used ammo belts.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: or...

        Yep, I was thinking of the Vickers, that was a belt, if you could get an option pack on cars, 2 x forward firing MG, idiotic pedestrians for the removal of; I would spec it up first..

        Chrysler would probably call it the "roadkill package"

        Even without Pokemon:thud I've had people walk out 2 feet in front of me, people walking in the middle of 50mph roads completely oblivious, parents pulling sleds down the middle of the road covered in black ice, teenagers walk across light controlled crossings when it's on green, and one notable nutcase who walked down a busy road as if he were a cruiser zigzagging under air attack, crossed the road back and forth around 15 times in a hundred yards and almost got hit at least three times..

        Then we had the army medic who wiped out 7 cars, pissed out of her tree, 3x legal limit, and didn't even get banned from driving on the basis she was "needed for national defence".

        When I was a kid we were taught, stop, look and listen and personally shown how long it takes for a car to stop from 30mph, nowadays they do nothing and these idiots seem to think we can stop on a dime, and of course, it's our fault if one of them walks out in front of us with no warning and gets splattered.

        I'm sorry, but if it was up to me the policy would be what one science fiction writer called Practical Darwinism, if you're stupid enough to walk into traffic in an apparent daze then you deserve to be taken out of the gene pool, no second chances. And if you are driving and playing Pokemon:Go at the same time, it should be a permanent driving ban by way of a state statute headshot.

  7. israel_hands

    Smells Like Bullshit

    Is this actually a thing or just some clueless/gullible cops? Seems a pretty poor way to find to people to rob. Reminds of that nosense story the cops in England put out warning people about burglars spraying coded symbols outside houses as a message to other burglars. Of course it turned out to be symbols sprayed by cabling companies, water, gas, electricity ect.

    Fucking numpty cops.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: Smells Like Bullshit

      If you want to rob someone of something that's easily transferrable and worth a considerable amount of money (say, a smart phone) I'd say it's actually quite a smart idea on the robber's part. Rather than trying to rob any old person and have a chance that the phone they use is a Nokia brick this method guarantees a relatively new smart phone, and you don't even have to run around trying to find people to rob.

      "Smartphone GO, gotta rob them all" (tm)

    2. Seajay#

      Re: Smells Like Bullshit

      Yeah, smells that way to me too. Pokemon Go is used by such a minuscule proportion of the population that dropping lures doesn't seem like a good use of resources for a potential mugger. It's not as if people looking at smartphones would otherwise be difficult to find.

      That police report has an odd tone too.

      The Pokemon, graphics and sound effects are computer-generated, but seeing a Pikachu on the sidewalk in front of you is a fan's digital dream come true.
      He's not quoting someone there, that's his official police opinion on the matter, strange.

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        Re: Smells Like Bullshit

        "Pokemon Go is used by such a minuscule proportion of the population"

        In the UK maybe, but even here I can go out in town at midnight and you'll see a dozen people with their phones out clearly playing Pokemon GO. And that's in a country where officially you can't play the game. In the US I'd hazard a guess that's it's the most popular mobile game amongst teenagers and young adults.

        1. JakHaxz

          Re: Smells Like Bullshit

          "On July 8th, only 2 days after the app’s release, it was already installed on 5.16% of all Android devices in the US. If that doesn’t seem like much, consider that by Thursday, July 7th, Pokemon GO was already installed on more US Android phones than Tinder."

          Source: similarweb

      2. Jedit

        "It's not as if people looking at smartphones would otherwise be difficult to find."

        No, but getting them to out of the way places without invoking suspicion isn't quite so easy. I'm not saying the story is necessarily true, but it's not unbelievable.

        Of course, it can also go the other way. According to the BBC the cop shop in Darwin, Australia has been designated a Pokestop and they've had to put up a sign telling players not to come inside. Good luck muggers trying it on there.

        1. Alien8n Silver badge

          Re: "It's not as if people looking at smartphones would otherwise be difficult to find."

          It's already been verified on Snopes, but the last victim has stated that there wasn't a lure at the stop he was robbed at.

    3. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: Smells Like Bullshit

      Not as dumb as you'd think, in days of old people would leave waymarks for others, indicating various things such as good, or bad food, or as kind of reviews for a coaching inn or an ale-house (for example to let people know that this ale-wife hadn't helped her wine to ferment with the addition of chicken poo, and so many did it was a bonafide crime).

      Basically it's probably what happens when you get passive/aggressive and paranoid Victor Meldrew types watching Time Team.

      Add to that cops whose only relation to an IQ was stopping one for speeding in a 30, and the rest is history.

  8. Ashton Black


    Sure, I've heard of it, but it sounds dodgy to me. I'll stick to traditional MMOs thanks. :-p

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outside...

      Yeah, I'd rather continue to be mugged by game developers than step a foot into augmented reality.

  9. malle-herbert Silver badge

    I'm surprised nobody's posted this XKCD yet :

    Pokémon Go

  10. Joefish
    Paris Hilton

    According to the BBC...

    Did I really hear a BBC World News reporter this morning saying 'Nintendo was late to get into mobile gaming'???

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: According to the BBC...

      If by that they meant gaming on mobile phones, then yes indeed.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: According to the BBC...

        And of course, the developer is Niantic (ex-Google), not Nintendo.

      2. Joefish

        Re: According to the BBC...

        Well yes, if by what they said they meant something different to what they actually said, then yes, it makes perfect sense.

  11. TheProf


    Of course the police could set up these Pokey lures in dark alleys and catch unsuspecting criminals who think they'll find unsuspecting victims. Mind you, it'll result in very crowded alleys and no-one will know who's who.

  12. Chika

    It's super effective...

    So what are the police doing, then? They know what they have to do...

    Gotta catch 'em all!

  13. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Playmobil - or it never happened

    As title.

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    Police at the US State of Missouri's O’Fallon Police Department issued a statement warning that four individuals were arrested in a Black BMW with a handgun after they were reported lurking at locations where Pokemon were likely to appear.

    Just Clintonistas phising for votes.

    No wait, they are armed...

    1. cosymart

      Re: Hmm...

      So it's illegal for a black BMW to have a hand gun. Who would have known!

  15. Pirate Dave


    these muggers, do they wear white spandex suits with a big red "R" in the center of the chest? Are they named James and Jessie.

    If so, surrender now, or prepare to fight.

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