Sheriff’s office: Stop trespassing to find Pokemon

GOOCHLAND, Va. (WRICAP) – The mobile app game Pokémon Go is taking over Richmond as thousands run outside to catch digital creatures in the real world.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are warning everyone who is playing that no matter how rare the catch, if you’re trespassing on private property, you’re breaking the law.

In Goochland County, officials said they’re catching gamers on business, church and government properties at all hours of the night, when doors are locked and properties are closed.

Writing on its official Facebook page, the Goochland Sheriff’s Office linked a rise in trespassing and suspicious activity reports over the weekend to Thursday’s release of the popular Pokemon Go smartphone game.

The “augmented reality” game encourages players to wander in the physical world in order to find and catch new Pokemon on their screens.

Deputies say they have found people on business, church, and government properties late at night when the properties are closed. Authorities say those actions constitute trespassing and put both members of the public and law enforcement officers at risk.

“The trespassing, I’m guilty of it too; going to these places in the middle of the night that I shouldn’t be,” admitted Caitlyn Elmore of Richmond. “But I’m with like 14 of my friends in giant groups.”

In Richmond and Chesterfield, so far no reports of suspicious activity have been filed in direct connection to the game, but police are urging everyone to stay off private property and avoid parks after they close.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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