Pokemon Go players react to armed robbery near Bear Creek Trail
COLUMBIA - Local Pokémon Go players reacted Sunday to the armed robbery of five fellow players near Bear Creek Trail Saturday night.
Pokémon Go, an interactive digital app, allows players to chase and hunt virtual animals superimposed on the world around them.
The five players, aged 18 to 24 years old, were cutting through the intersection of Bear Creek Trail and North Providence Road when the robbery took place.
"I never expected something like this to happen to someone while playing the game," fellow Pokémon Go player Danielle Ehler said. "I thought maybe, you know, there would be too many people in one place and someone might get rowdy or something. Not mugged."
Danielle Ehler and her son J.T. said they came to Peace Park Sunday afternoon to look for Pokémon.
"I usually play with my work friends, so I don't worry about being alone," she said. "Peace Park had more than 500 Pokémon Go players hunting around 1 A.M. Wednesday morning."
J.T., Ehler son, said he likes how Pokémon Go makes exercise more fun, but it can be easy to get distracted.
"I did walk into a car while playing," he said. "And my cousin walked straight into my grandmother."
To Danielle Ehler, the easiest way to stay safe while playing Pokémon Go is to use the buddy system.
"When there's two or more people aware what's going on around them, I figure you're better off," Ehler said.
The first reported robbery of Pokémon Go players took place in O'Fallon on July 10, where suspects allegedly used the app to lure victims to a secluded location.