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This image is a still from a promotional video for "Pokemon Go" on pokemon.com.
Palm Coast Saturday, Jul. 16, 2016 2 years ago

Three shots fired at suspicious teen's car. Turns out he was just playing 'Pokemon Go'

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No injuries reported. And, fortunately, the teen and his friend caught two Pokemon.
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

"Pokemon Go" is all fun and games — until someone tries to shoot you.

According to Flagler County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Troiano, a man living at 41 Primrose Lane stated that he heard a noise outside his home at about 1:30 a.m. July 16. He armed himself with a handgun and went to investigate. The man said a white car was parked in front of his house with its brake lights on. He heard someone say, "Did you get anything?"

So, the homeowner stepped in front of the car and ordered it not to move. The car moved toward him, so he shot at the car before it sped away.

Later that morning, the parents of a 19-year-old called the Sheriff's Office to tell the rest of the story. The young man and his 16-year-old friend were playing "Pokemon Go." When they said, "Did you get anything?" they were referring to Pokemon. The young men returned home, and in the morning saw that there were three bullet marks in the car: one in the rear tire, hubcap and fender.

Good news: No one was injured. 

More good news: The two young men were successful in catching two Pokemon, Tauros and Maowak.

"Pokemon Go" is a new video game that can be downloaded for free on mobile devices. To play the game, you keep your eyes on your screen, and try to catch little monsters called Pokemon as they pop up on your screen. One of the first screens in the game is a warning: "Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings." There have been news stories about various accidents occuring as a result of a failure to follow this advice, including two men falling off a cliff in California.

The game has become an international sensation. Heavy.com reported that, with about 21 million downloads, it is the “biggest mobile game in U.S. history.”

Safety tips for 'Pokemon Go'

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office provided these safety tips regarding "Pokemon Go":

Homeowners:

  • Call 911 immediately when you suspect someone is trying to break into your home.
  • If at all possible, be an excellent witness for law enforcement by providing valuable information on what is occurring. 
  • Avoid leaving the protection of your home to confront suspects.  This should be handled by trained law enforcement officers.

'Pokémon Go' Hunters:

  • Use common sense, be alert at all times and stay aware of your surroundings. In law enforcement, we call this situational awareness.
  • Watch where you are going.
  • Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the "Pokémon Go" app. You cannot do both safely at the same time.
  • Do not trespass, go onto private property or into any area you usually would not if you weren’t playing "Pokémon Go."
  • Understand that people can use your location to lure you to “Pokéstops” so they can victimize you.
  • Take a friend with you.
  • If you are a minor, check with a parent before going anywhere and tell an adult or law enforcement officer immediately if anything happens.

Parents of 'Pokémon Go' Hunters:

  • Talk to your kids about strangers and set limits on where your kids can go.
  • Be aware of third-party software apps claiming to enhance the gaming experience.  Unfortunately, many of these apps allow access to sensitive personal data. 

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