Pokemon Go craze prompts Toronto police warning

Toronto police are warning Pokemon Go players to stay safe as they bound across the city to capture creatures for the wildly popular augmented reality game.

'People are putting themselves in dangerous situations,' police say

Police are warning Pokemon Go players to not become so immersed in the game that they ignore traffic. (CBC)

Toronto police are warning Pokemon Go players to keep safety in mind as they bound across the city to pursue virtual creatures for the wildly popular augmented reality game.

"Our concern is some of the things we've seen from other jurisdictions," Const. David Hopkinson told CBC News. "People aren't aware of their surroundings. The app doesn't account for traffic conditions or your safety."

Pokemon Go players use smart phones to capture virtual creatures hidden in real locations across the city. Players walk around outside and discover places like Pokéstops or gyms, where they have the opportunity to catch Pokemon. 

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But police say some players are trespassing or rushing across intersections, often without looking up from their screens long enough to take notice of real-world obstacles, like moving cars.

"People are ... putting themselves in dangerous situations," said Hopkinson.

"We're seeing also people are playing while they're driving and stopping their cars in the middle of the intersection to go get a Mewtwo or something like that," he said.

"We're trying to send a message and that message is: 'Be safe.' Is a Squirtle worth your safety? I don't believe that it is.

"When you're walking in the streets, you should be walking with your head up, watching where you're going." 

Groups of Pokemon Go players gathered at the CN Tower and other locations last night. Many told CBC News they're learning about the city as they travel from location to location in search of Pokemon. 

"I notice a lot of interesting architecture and murals around the city that normally I'd pass by," one player said.