A warning is being issued to Pokémon GO players on the hunt near White Rock Lake. Police say they are investigating a series of four robberies in the area that involve victims playing the game. In each incident, the victim was robbed of their cellphone by three black, two of whom were armed with guns.
“[The victims] have their head down and they’re not paying attention,” says Lt. Chris Harmon of the Dallas robbery unit.
The first incident occurred on July 22 when a man sitting in his car was robbed at gunpoint around 1 a.m. while looking for Pokémon in the 600 block of E. Lawther, according to Harmon. Less than 30 minutes later, the exact same crime was reported in the 2900 block of White Rock Road when four victims were robbed of their cellphones while playing the game, again by three suspects carrying two guns.
On July 26, two more victims were robbed in the 4800 block of West Lawther Drive around 1 a.m. The final crime took place on Aug. 2, around 2:30 a.m. when the three suspects targeted a male and female victim in the 4700 block of W. Lawther.
The suspects are described as black males in their late teens or early 20s, who were wearing dark pants and white t-shirts. In one of the offenses, a black female drove the suspects away in a white four-door sedan.
During a Thursday press conference, Harmon noted that the robberies are happening in dark, secluded areas.
“Don’t isolate yourself, don’t be out in the dark, don’t be on your own,” he says. “I don’t get the fascination with the game. … But there’s still a world going on, you’ve got to pay attention.”
Police also released this list of safety tips for Pokemon Go players, which includes being aware of your surroundings and the people around you, and not being so distracted by the game that you wander into traffic.
This is not the first time people have been targeted for their cellphones in the neighborhood. Last summer, a rash of cellphone robberies were reported around Lake Highlands.