Pierce County getting ‘a lot of’ 911 calls over Pokemon Go players

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TACOMA, Wash. -- Everywhere you look, you see people playing Pokemon Go -- walking around with their phones in front of them.

“I would definitely say it’s a scavenger hunt,” Aja McHolland said.

McHolland and her kids were playing Pokemon Go in Tacoma’s Wright Park on Tuesday.

“Everybody wants Pikachu,” McHolland said, referring to one of the characters in the game.

Millions around the globe are hooked to their phones, hunting for virtual creatures to pop up on their screens.

McHolland admits she’s hooked but she is playing the smart way -- in a public park out in the open.

But some others are willing to go anywhere at any time to capture fictional creatures.

“We’ve had a lot of calls, well over a dozen calls, of suspicious people, vehicles trespassing,” Pierce County sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer said.

Like one call from someone living close to Rocky Ridge Elementary in Graham on July 18.

“I am at Rocky Ridge Elementary in Graham, Washington; there are three people with flashlights in the construction area in the school,” said the 911 caller.

It wasn’t a late-night burglary, just three people playing Pokemon.

“We don’t have resources to be chasing people around playing Pokemon,” Troyer said.

Troyer said the sheriff's department doesn't blame the callers, but that it’s the gamers who need to be careful.

“Don’t be going on private property, climbing fences, walking out in traffic, don’t be out in the middle of night at loading docks, weird places,” Troyer said.

McHolland is surprised over how far some will go to play the game.

“To me it’s more commonsense, knowing where you are at,” McHolland said.

But she believes the new craze isn’t going away anytime soon.

“You have to absolutely have to try it once, don’t knock it till you try it,” McHolland said.

So far, no one has been arrested over playing the game.







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