The popular cellphone game has been finding more than Pokemon.
The new cellphone craze “Pokemon Go” has become a mobile phenomenon, and people are discovering that it can do a lot more than just capture animated creatures. It has also become a tool for people to inadvertently discover a possible crime scene.
Just last week three girls searching for the battle bytes happened upon a decomposing body in San Diego’s Marian Bear Memorial Park.
In Wyoming, a young woman playing the GPS-based app discovered a deceased person in a nearby river while looking for a water-type monster.
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reached out to local law enforcement to ask a few questions about safety and what one should do if they discover more than what is expected in the game.
“As always, safety is our priority,” said Sergeant Lisa Mclean of the San Diego Police Department. “With that said, we encourage everyone to always be aware of their surroundings.”
That tip doesn't just go for pedestrians. A man in Auburn, N.Y. drove off the road and crashed into a tree while playing.
California has a few laws against using mobile devices while behind the wheel.
The Wireless Communications Device Law prohibits the use of cellphones at any time while driving unless it is an emergency.
Hands-free devices are allowed only if the driver is over 18-years old.
There are currently no laws in California which ban texting while walking, however New Jersey recently made it illegal with fines and possible jail time if you’re caught doing so.
“Oftentimes, we get distracted with our electronic devices and it is such a preventable tragedy when someone places themselves in a position of danger such as stepping off a curb before looking, etc.” Mclean said.
McLean also says there are a few things you should do in the unlikely event that you enter into a suspicious situation.
“If someone comes across a potential crime scene, or a deceased person, stay in a safe place and call the police immediately,” she said.
Recent reports have also shown criminals are taking advantage of the game as well, luring players into remote areas and then robbing them.
Mclean re-iterates using common sense while playing the game. Taking the time to use the app when it’s safe could save a life.
“We love our community who we serve and don't want an unnecessary tragedy, preventable or otherwise, to befall anyone,” she adds.