Here’s How Pokémon Go Is Solving Crimes and Helping People

Photo: Pixabay

CrimeFeed has covered quite a bit of negative Pokémon Go news recently, but it’s worth noting the many times when the mobile app was used for good. We’re ready for some Poké-Positivity!

1. California Pokémon Go Players Help Catch Kid-Touching Attempted Murder Suspect

Two Marine Corps veterans playing Pokémon Go are being credited with capturing a man cops were seeking for attempted murder. CBS News reports 24-year-old Seth Ortega and 27-year-old Javier Soch saw the suspect hassling women and children in Fullerton park. The pair grabbed the man when he touched a child, and contacted the police. Though the suspect was arrested for child annoyance, authorities later found he had a warrant for attempted murder.

2. Teens Rescue Lost Texas Toddler

A missing two-year-old was found by three boys who were heading to a Pokéstop. After installing the Pokémon Go app, the teens wandered around the their neighborhood and noticed a toddler running around unsupervised. “We stopped him and asked him, ‘Where do you live? Are you OK?'” Austin Sehlke told KHOU. From there, a neighbor intervened and called 911 while the teens knocked on doors. Police ultimately reunited the child with his father, who explained that he’d recently taught his son how to use the back door. “I wasn’t really expecting that to happen today, I was kind of expecting to catch some Pokemon and go home,” Brendan Buczkowski said.

3. Pokémon Go Users Say Game Is Helping With Their Mental Health

Aside from the physical benefits playing Pokémon Go affords, some users are crediting the app with helping them cope with mental health issues. “I’m a vet with PTSD, the last three years leaving my yard was a chore,” the Facebook comment posted to Imgur reads. “Today I took my kid to the park and talked to 20 random strangers. Thank you, Nintendo!!!!!!!!”

An article penned by Tina L-Z for The Mighty detailed how the app is helping her branch out despite her agoraphobia, defined by the Mayo Clinic “an anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.”

L-Z explained how hard venturing out can be and how the augmented reality game pushed her to go outside. She wrote:

A few days ago, I noticed a lot of rustling leaves around my complex, which meant there were Pokémon to be had, but that would mean going outside. This is where something unusual happened. I put on my shoes, put my dog’s vest and leash on and went to catch me some Pokémon dammit!

She goes on to write about how she ran into a neighbor, also playing the game, who had her own struggles with anxiety and fear of leaving her home. She concluded, “I am so grateful something that seemed so trivial has turned into another tool to help me with my fight against some of my mental issues.”

Related: Pokémon Go Players Commit Crimes Against Taste!

4. “Rare Pokémon” Are Luring Criminals to Cops … Hopefully

Manchester Police

Police are attempting to use the Pokémon Go craze to catch some criminals. According to WMUR, Manchester Police took to Facebook to let Pokémon enthusiasts know they’ve got an elusive Charizard in their booking area. But there’s a catch: You have to be on a special list to come get it. But the list isn’t exactly VIPs — it’s Manchester’s most-wanted persons list. Shockingly, the post has led to no arrests.

Though Manchester Police had little luck, Michigan police have at least one Pokémon Go–related arrest under their belt. The Milford police station is a designated gym, a location where users can battle their Pokémon to claim it for their team (Team Valor, Team Instinct, and Team Mystic). According to The Independent, William Wilcox was all too ready to battle, but there was a problem: He was wanted for breaking and entering and failure to appear in court. Cops recognized him, and he was arrested on the spot. “Fortunately, sometimes they make our job easy for us,” police chief Tom Lindberg commented.

5. Pokémon Players Are Finding Lost, Injured Pets


The homeless hamsters. Photo: Pokémon Go: Houston Community Facebook Page

In addition to lost toddlers and criminals, Pokémon has also led people to missing pets. For one, two Texas players found an injured puppy while seeking a Jigglypuff. KRBE reports the puppy was about four months old, had two broken legs, and was bleeding from the mouth.

The second incident also occurred in Texas, where two Pokémon Go players recovered a box of hamsters and other rodents in a Houston park. “[We] saw a strange box on the ground [and] said box had a cage in it and inside were hamsters abandoned in the heat with no water and birdseed for food and they were close to dying!” Sara Perez explained in a Facebook post. “They had pinkies [baby mice] they were trying to keep from dying and most of them were suffering from heat exhaustion!” The pair took the abandoned animals home and gave them food and water.  According to The Dodo, four of the hamsters were adopted out so far.

Main photo: Not the dog referred to in the story. [Pixabay]