Popular mobile app Pokemon Go causing safety concerns

Published: Updated:
(Pokemon Go / MGN)

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Dozens of people walked along the trails of Lakes Park in Lee County Monday afternoon searching for Pokemon.

With more than 5 million downloads just a few days after its release, the latest mobile craze, Pokemon Go, has made its way to Southwest Florida as it continues to gain popularity across the country.

You may have noticed people walking around town lately with their heads in their phone more than usual…

“Really addicting, it’s kinda goofy,” Nate Couts said. “Gives you something to do!”

And chances are, they’re playing Pokemon Go.

“Just going out and doing something rather than sitting at home,” Jacob Burns said, explaining the popularity of the game.

“People are saying that they have never seen so many people walking around in their town and people are finding new places in their towns that they have never taken a glance at,” said Troy Barnes.

The game is drawing in Pokemon fans of all ages in a modern day scavenger hunt where your phone uses a GPS signal to place Pokemon and other items from the fantasy world in real locations.

The mobile app allows users to capture, train and battle Pokemon while getting people outside and moving around their communities.

“You see so many people down here, like all ages, all walks of life,” Jesi Cason said. “Everybody is playing this game right now.”

But police across the country are warning users to remain vigilant after a number of users were robbed while playing the game. One user even found a dead body face down in a river while searching for Pokemon.

“Always important to look both ways! Don’t ‘Poke’ and get hit by a car,” Cason added. “People just have to be careful, take a little personal responsibility. Don’t do it while driving!”

More than 100 people gathered in downtown Fort Myers Sunday night to play the game and a couple hundred people are planning to get together to play this weekend.

Local law enforcement say so far, they have not had any issues related to the game but they do remind users to keep your head up while playing (literally) and be aware of your surroundings.

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