Three teenage Pokémon Go players have been robbed of their mobile phones at gunpoint in a north London park, prompting police to warn of the dangers of roaming the streets with expensive mobile phones on show.
The victims, aged 15, 16 and 18, were playing the popular mobile phone game in Whittington Park in Holloway on Tuesday night when three male teenagers approached them.
One of the alleged robbers, believed to be a 16 to 17-year-old referred to as Kushi, pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the victims while an accomplice demanded they hand over their devices. The victims gave up their smartphones and left the scene shocked but unscathed, police said.
The attack came 30 minutes after another armed robbery at the entrance to Whittington Park at 10pm, in which a 24-year-old man had what appeared to be a silver handgun pressed to his waist as three men demanded he hand over his possessions. He too left unharmed after being told to turn around and walk away.
Scotland Yard believes the incidents are linked, saying the suspect descriptions and methods used were identical, and both robberies happened near each other.
PC Kevin Yeung said: “These were really shocking attacks on young people walking around a much-loved park.”
He also appealed for witnesses, adding: “Robberies where a gun is shown or indicated are very rare and we are keen to apprehend those involved as soon as possible.”
The first suspect is described as an Asian male, believed to be 16 or 17, 5ft 6ins tall and referred to as Kushi. He was wearing a black zipped jumper, black trousers and a black bandana covering his face.
The second suspect is described as an Asian male, also believed to be 16 or 17 and 5ft 8ins tall. He was wearing a dark grey puffer jacket.
The third suspect is described as an Asian male, believed to be 16. He was wearing a black zipped jumper, black North Face gilet, and dark trousers.
Anyone with information is asked to call Islington CID on 020 8345 0262 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Pokémon Go, the mobile game that overlays a virtual world on real locations, has rapidly become a global phenomenon with millions of players, but its popularity has also sparked safety fears.
Police in Cambridge told Pokémon Go users to be on alert following reports of a man being punched in the face at a popular meeting spot in the city.
Six teenage Pokémon Go players had a lucky escape on Thursday when they were nearly cut off by the rising tide in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
Earlier in the week, police spotted three girls standing in rough seas near Hastings pier in East Sussex, and mine rescue crews and firefighters had to come to the aid of a group of teenagers in Wiltshire who became lost in a network of caves at Box.
Japanese players were urged to stay out of nuclear power plants and the Fukushima evacuation zones, while and several car crashes have reportedly been caused by distracted players.
This article was written by Nadia Khomami, for theguardian.com on Saturday 30th July 2016 14.31 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010