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Police Departments In The U.S. Are Issuing Some Hilarious Warnings About Pokémon Go

"It looked like a bunch of trendy zombies following a mystical GPS device."

Last updated on July 13, 2016, at 8:12 p.m. ET

Posted on July 13, 2016, at 11:25 a.m. ET

Police departments in the U.S. are being forced to issue warnings about Pokémon Go after reports of suspicious activity, trespassing, and, in one case, armed robbery have surfaced in the wake of the app's massive popularity.

Facebook / Via Facebook: WichitaPolice

"It looked like a bunch of trendy zombies staring aimlessly at their phones," the Largo Police Department in Florida said in a Facebook post Monday.

Facebook / Via Facebook: LargoPoliceDepartment

The Largo Police Department has increased its presence in areas that are popular in the app, Public Information Officer Lt. Paul Amodeo told BuzzFeed News Wednesday. He said police officers are aware of areas frequented by people searching for the virtual Pokémon creatures.

Amodeo said that while they haven't received any complaints so far, "there are certainly concerns" regarding the app, especially with the “Lure Module,” which invites other players to come to a location "for 30 minutes" and collect Pokémon.

"We haven't had anybody doing anything nefarious or bad, but it's certainly a concern if parents are paying attention to their kids and just general situational awareness," Amodeo said.

The most populated Pokémon Go area so far has been the Largo Central Park, which has 10 “PokéStops” according to Amodeo. He said that two of their officers, including a cyberdetective, have downloaded the app on their phone "to keep tabs on it."

"A couple of our other officers are just playing it, even though they might not admit it," Amodeo said.

The Bellingham Police Department in Massachusetts has received at least three complaints of "suspicious activity" since Friday, which turned out to be people playing Pokémon Go, Detective Stephen Daigle told BuzzFeed News.

Facebook / Via Facebook: bellinghammapolice

"We responded to a suspicious person outside a liquor store at almost 1 a.m. on Friday," Daigle said, adding that this was their first Pokémon Go–related complaint. The "suspicious person" showed the responding officer his phone with the Pokémon Go app.

Parents with children also reported a "suspicious party" when they noticed "a lot more teenagers and young adults on their phones" gathered in the gazebo at the Town Common on Monday morning, Daigle said. The parents suspected drug activity, but it was just "four to five kids" who had come separately to collect the Pokémon Go characters in the gazebo, he said.

An officer stopped around 3:45 a.m. early Wednesday, when he saw "a couple of kids" in the parking lot of a Subway restaurant that had previously been broken into several times. However the two people "had found something" related to the game there, Daigle said.

Daigle, who is considering downloading the app on his department mobile phone, said he would caution people to be aware of their surroundings while playing the game and not go to any isolated areas where they could become targets of robberies and assault.

"Yes this is a real facebook post and warning!" the Northbridge Police Department in Massachusetts said, after they received "numerous calls for people (kids and adults) walking in the middle of the road."

Facebook / Via Facebook: 350882618351811

A spokesperson for the department told BuzzFeed News they had received a "handful of calls," of people walking on the road while playing the game. The spokesperson added the callers were concerned with the welfare of the individuals.

"Do not Pokemon Go and drive," the department also warned in its Facebook post.

"We have had some people playing the game behind the PD, in the dark, popping out of bushes, etc. This is high on our list of things that are not cool right now," the Duvall Police Department in Washington said in a Facebook post.

Facebook / Via Facebook: Duvall.Police.Department

The post urged people who were "lurking" around the police department to let an officer know "you are looking for an imaginary critter thing."

"When I started in this profession never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that there would come a day when I would have to ask the public not to chase imaginary creatures behind the station at night," the department said in a comment.

The New York Police Department warned players to be aware of their surroundings and not to trespass onto private property or go to "areas you usually would not" while playing the game.


"We never thought we would have to speak directly here to those who are using an app that makes them follow and gather imaginary creatures, but here it is," said the Hawthorne PD in New Jersey.

Facebook / Via Facebook: hawthorne.pd.9

"So if you see a group of people running around, laughing, and taking pictures with their phones this is probably why," Grand Traverse 911 in Michigan said in a Facebook post after receiving calls about "suspicious people walking around."

"Heard of Pokemon Go? It's the fastest growing game out there," the Boxford Police Department in Massachusetts said in a post warning players not to trespass on private property or play while driving.

Facebook / Via Facebook: BoxfordPolice

The Tewksbury Police in Massachusetts also urged players not to collect Pokémon while driving.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @TewksburyPD

The Medway Police Department in Massachusetts used Facebook to warn people about "elements of danger" after receiving numerous calls about "suspicious persons wandering around" and taking "odd photos and videos" on their phones.

"Although this is a game that encourages people to get outside and walk around, we would be remiss if we did not mention the associated risks and concerns," the Park Ridge Police Department in New Jersey said in a Facebook post.

Facebook / Via Facebook: ParkRidgePolice

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.