Two men who were playing Pokémon Go on the streets of Lakewood were targeted by robbers yesterday as they walked home, L.A. sheriff's officials said today.
"A tan four-door vehicle, possibly a Chevy Impala, pulled alongside the victims," Deputy Trina Schrader says. "A ... passenger exited the vehicle and approached the victims with a black handgun. The male suspect demanded the victim’s property."
One of the victims "charged" at the gunman, fought for the weapon and was ultimately pistol whipped, according to Det. Ronnie Borges, who recommends that you cooperative if you end up in such a situation.
"The suspect ran back to the tan vehicle, which then sped toward the victims and attempted to run over them," Schrader says. "The victims were able to get out of the way before being struck by the vehicle."
The victim suffered a broken nose, according to Borges. "The victim was hit multiple times in the face with the handgun," Schrader adds.
It happened at 2:40 a.m. yesterday near South Street and Clark Avenue in Lakewood, according to authorities.
Borges says it didn't appear that the victims were lured to the location via Pokémon Go, an augmented reality app that has players explore their cities as they try to capture wild Pokémon and Pokémon Eggs.
There have been cases in other cities where teens allegedly used the game to lure robbery victims.
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"There's nothing that leads us to believe that's what happened" here, the detective says. "They actually had put the game away and continued walking home, and that's when they were approached."
The case is still under investigation, however.
The gunman is described as a 5-foot, 10-inch man in his mid-20s with short hair. A description of the driver was not available. Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call the Lakewood sheriff's station at (562) 623-3500.