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If catching them is your real test, and training them your cause, one D.C. police officer is cautioning Poké maniacs to exercise some “situational awareness” when wielding your Pokédex and playing the latest mobile-gaming sensation.
“There is a smartphone app that is rapidly gaining popularity across the country,” Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Shane Lamond explains in an email to the Fourth Police District community listserv. “It is called Pokemon GO, and it is sort of an outdoor treasure hunt where you use your GPS-enabled smartphone to locate Pokemons.”
Given reports of suspects luring victims to in-game “beacons” (aka Pokéstops and gyms) in order to stage robberies, the lieutenant adds, it’s important not to raise your risk. Some pro-tips for Pokemon Go-ing responsibly, per Lamond:
1. Always be aware of your surroundings, and look up from your phone frequently. There are reports that players have fallen down hills, into holes, stepped off curbs into traffic, and run into objects such as trees and poles because they are concentrating on their phones.2. Do not play the game at night and stay out of poorly lit areas.3. Try to stay in public areas where other people are around.4. Stay clear of alleyways, tunnels, and other secluded areas.5. Make sure that someone else knows that you are playing, and what area you will be playing in.
MPD hasn’t announced any worrisome incidents or trends related to the game in the District just yet. But already, the Poké-crazed have started descending on the grassy National Mall, where virtual creatures and battles are common.