Calgary police warn local Pokémon Go players about dangers of virtual reality

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.

WATCH: The Baltimore Police Department released video of a car crash that was the result of the driver being distracted while playing Pokemon Go.

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    “I actually caught a Weedle right here.”

    READ MORE: Pokemon Go officially launches in Canada, crashes app’s servers

    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.

    READ MORE: Pokémon Go players can now hire a chauffeur in Vancouver

    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?’”