Southern California

Pokemon Go Taking Over Southern California

The popularity of Pokemon Go has come in as hot as a blazing Charizard.

The free app, which was released last Thursday, has already climbed to the top of the Apple App Store charts thanks to engaging graphics that allow users to catch Pokemon characters in real life.

Pokemon, which is short for "pocket monsters," became popular in the 1990s following the release of animated television shows and video games. The Pokemon Go app has brought the thrill of Pikachu and company to players with access to a smartphone.

Characters can be found in real life using augmented reality while walking around buildings, statues and paths users explore.

Local city organizations and police departments in Southern California are getting in on the app’s popularity.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is reminding residents to steer clear of danger by tweeting "Heads up, phones down" while trying to reach that next level.

This comes after players have uploaded photos showing their scabs and scars trying to find Pokemon, and after a group of teens in Missouri robbed unsuspecting users who were meeting up at a central location.

The city of West Hollywood and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library are taking a light-hearted approach by inviting visitors to chase after Pokemons located on their properties.

While users are scrambling to catch characters, a Los Angeles Pokemon Go group is reminding users to not only stay safe, but to also not play while on the job.

Users playing over the weekend at Echo Park were greeted with a Poké Stop, a location where players can grab items like pokeballs, during the Lotus Festival.

Despite the fun users on social media say they are having playing the app, police departments across the country are reminding players to stay safe and not make themselves a victim just to win a game. 

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