Pokemon Go hunters snare real thief in New Zealand

Hidden dangers our Pokemon Go

WELLINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Some New Zealand fans of the smartphone game Pokemon Go caught more than they bargained for when they grabbed a thief who broke into a car and held him until police arrived.

The young people were out hunting virtual cartoon characters in the North Island town of Napier on Wednesday night, when they heard a car alarm and saw a masked man run past, New Zealand Police said.

RELATED: Athletes as Pokemon

Athletes as Pokemon
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Athletes as Pokemon

Bryce Harper: Charmeleon

If Bryce could safely play baseball with a burning flame emerging from his hair, don't you think he would've already?

(AP/The Pokémon Company)

Yoenis Cespedes: Blastoise

The biggest difference here is Blastoise has two cannons while Cespedes only has one -- but, hey, we've never actually seen him throw with his left arm. So who knows?

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Usain Bolt: Jolteon

Bolteon? Bolteon.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Brock Lesnar: Rhydon

Pokemon probably aren't able to get tattoos, but that's the only thing that could make this one more accurate.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Conor McGregor: Machamp

His opponents have probably envisioned him having four arms before, one would think.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Damian Lillard: Magmar

The "Spitfire" species seems fitting for the best rapper in the NBA.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Draymond Green: Geodude


(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

J.J Watt: Golem

If J.J. went a few months without clipping his nails, there would be literally no distinction between the two.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Venus Williams: Vulpix

Fiery, beloved -- and only outclassed by one sibling in her field.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Serena Williams: Ninetails

The epitome of fire and domination.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Marshawn Lynch: Rhyhorn


(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Mike Woodson: Diglett

No, he's not an active athlete. But c'mon.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Ndamukong Suh: Gengar

The smug looks on both faces says it all.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Michael Phelps: Seadra

Who would win in a race? 

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Ronda Rousey: Hitmonchan

So strong. So intimidating. But vulnerable in one key area...

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Holly Holm: Hitmonlee

That. Kick.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Steph Curry: Pikachu

Everyone's lovable hero that could do no wrong... right?

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Klay Thompson: Raichu

In theory, he should be better than Pikachu. He's bigger, more athletic -- but still not quite as desirable.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Robin Lopez: Tangela

Sometimes you wonder how he can even see.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

LeBron James: Articuno

If this past NBA Finals didn't prove that he has ice in his veins, then nothing will.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Jose Altuve: Charmander

The bite-sized catalyst that anybody would want to start their team with.

(AP/The Pokémon Company)

Pablo Sandoval: Snorlax

Perhaps Panda is just assuming the Snorlax position until spring training.

(AP/The Pokémon Company)

Russell Westbrook: Electrode

This outfit definitely fits the most electrifying player in the NBA.

(AP/The Pokémon Company)

Phil Kessel: Dragonite

The talented, if slightly pudgy, star that you'd take on your squad in a heartbeat.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Johnny Manziel: Magikarp

He should, one day, amount to something great. But for the extended future -- and maybe forever -- he's merely a Magikarp.

(Getty/The Pokémon Company)

Crying Jordan: Gloom

(The Pokémon Company)


"They didn't use Pokeballs to catch him, they just held him till police arrived," police said in a statement, referring to an online tool used to capture the Pokemons that appear in places such as temples and landmarks where people gather.

A 28-year-old man was arrested and will face theft charges in court on Sept. 7, police said.

Nintendo's Pokemon Go has become an unexpected smash hit, using augmented reality and Google mapping to make animated characters appear in the real world, overlaid on the nearby landscape viewed through players' mobile phone cameras.

The game has also been blamed for injuries and robberies of distracted users in some countries, prompting authorities to warn gamers to play responsibly.

In Napier, police reminded players their own safety was paramount.

"Capturing little Pokemon monsters isn't just good for the players because in this case it's good for the police too, but we don't want any good Samaritans to get hurt," said Senior Sergeant David Sutherland.

(Reporting by Rebecca Howard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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