New mobile phone game Pokemon Go has entranced both young and old, turning everyday buildings and monuments into competitive hotspots crawling with otherworldly creatures waiting to be caught. (Brittany Britto, Baltimore Sun video)
University of Maryland police are searching for a suspect who robbed Pokemon Go players at gunpoint in separate incidents Tuesday night on the College Park campus.
Police said three of the four robbery victims are college students, and three of the victims were playing Pokemon Go, a smartphone game that requires players to visit local landmarks to capture Pokemon creatures.
The recently released game, which has been hugely popular, has raised concerns among law enforcement officials. Authorities have urged players to pay attention to their surroundings after reports of robberies and car crashes involving players distracted by the game.
Baltimore County police said Tuesday that three people were robbed at gunpoint in Parkville while playing Pokemon Go.
Carroll County sheriff's spokesman Jonathan Light said the office has responded to a few calls for suspicious persons who turned out to be Pokemon Go players and "nothing of a criminal nature."
Around the country, some law enforcement agencies have issued guidance to players, urging them to take a friend when visiting locations and to stay in well-lit areas. They also remind players not to play while driving and not to trespass on private property.
In the College Park robberies, police were called at 9:20 p.m. outside Tydings Hall. While searching for the suspect, police received two additional reports of robberies near Queen Anne's Hall shortly after 10 p.m.
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