Police say playing 'Pokemon Go' can be dangerous - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police say playing 'Pokemon Go' can be dangerous

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- "Pokemon Go" has officially taken over, but the popular game is also raising a lot of questions about security and safety.

"I can see this resulting in very bad things happening, if you're not careful. It can be very dangerous," said Mike Minniear, Assistant Chief at Audubon Park Police Department

In case you're unfamiliar, "Pokemon Go" is a way for gamers to get out and exercise while also doing what they love. 

GPS technology allows players to search for "Pokemon" characters and participate in battles across Louisville. 

The only problem is, being at the top of your game also means often having your face in a phone.

"I believe that we could see a dramatic increase in the amount of kids hit," said Erika Janes from Kosair Children's Hospital. 

People are so interested in "Pokemon," they don't bother to pay attention to what's going on around them.

"Your life in traffic is not anything to take for granted. You have to be aware," Janes said.

There's advice to consider for older players who drive as well.

"This game can actually be worse than texting and driving," Minniear said. 

Deeper concentration is required, and sometimes the hunt for victory can lead players on a goose chase. It's not uncommon to see a character in the middle of the street. Slamming on your breaks to get it is not wise. 

"They could die," Minniear said.

Audubon Park Police and other agencies across the area also warn the game can make you a target. 

"It's an easy victim for somebody who is wanting to rob somebody," he said.

There's a lure function, or beacon, that shows other players where you are, so you can play together. 

Police say criminals often use their own to attract players to remote spots before making victims.

"If you get that beacon, and you don't see the person or see who that beacon could be, go ahead and ignore the beacon," Minniear said.

Police say the best advice is to use your instincts and stay aware at all times, no matter how pressing the game may seem.

'Pokemon Go' gym located at WDRB Studios

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