It’s an augmented-reality craze sparked by a game now officially available in Canada and it has Calgarians eager to hit the streets in search of treasured digital creatures.
By Monday afternoon, Calgary police had already responded to about 10 calls for service related to the new Pokémon Go app since Friday. They included suspicious person calls, trespassing calls and other disturbances.
“We had some trespassing where some kids wandered in to a construction site,” Cst. Mark Smith, with Calgary police’s digital communications unit, said. “They didn’t realize that they were trespassing but we attended and we just gave them some words of advice.”
Smith admits he’s testing out the new phenomenon firsthand.
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“I actually caught a Weedle right here.”
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While the risks of distracted walking, trespassing and other Pokémon Go concerns have been widespread, even more serious warnings are emerging.
“Be aware of people that are looking to steal cellphones and things like that. They might set a lure to get people to come and then you get crimes happening that way as well,” Smith said.
Across the county, ads are popping up on online sites.
Websites like Kijiji have people offering services like driving Pokémon Go players around Toronto to “Catch ’em all” – enticing them by providing snacks, charging cords, and air conditioning.
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In Calgary, a quick Kijiji search found a “23 year old woman looking for someone to play Pokémon Go with” and others offering unique babysitting services to take kids out searching for Pokémons.
Police said while many ads may be legitimate, it’s important to be diligent.
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“It kind of comes down to the common sense. You’ve just got to ask yourself, ‘What risks are involved and is it worth that risk? Is it worth catching a legendary Pokémon and what could happen?’”
Catching #Pokemon w/ @985TJ at the Calgary Courthouse. That’s what I’m doin’ at the courthouse. #yyc pic.twitter长沙桑拿/s4bo42LiQ2
— Fuzzy (@Fuzzy985) July 18, 2016
Just saw a guy almost get nailed by a C-Train playing Pokemon Go downtown. Keep your heads up people @Calgarytransit #YYC
— RegJoeYYC (@RegularJoeYYC) July 18, 2016
Found a Pokemon next to a @globalcalgary vehicle in Downtown #yyc #PokemonGO pic.twitter长沙桑拿/OGRviyv0P9
— heymannyg (@heymannyg) July 11, 2016