Police: Local man’s car stolen after he leaves it unlocked to play Pokemon Go

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Pokemon Go craze continues in the Capital Region.

Along with the popularity of the game comes with some safety concerns and even crime.

Imagine coming to the Capitol to play Pokemon Go. You see a rare Pokemon you’ve been waiting to catch, toss down your keys, and away you go. Then when you come back, your car is nowhere to be found.

That’s exactly what police say happened to a 23-year-old Albany man when he headed to the Plaza to play Pokemon Go late Thursday night.

“He left his key fob inside the cup holder of the car while he was parked and also left the doors unlocked,” Steve Smith, of Albany Police Department, said.

It’s being considered the first Pokemon Go related crime in the Albany area.

“We certainly know that people are enjoying the game and they’re out playing the game, but this is probably the first incident we’ve had that has involved a crime.”

People playing the game on Friday say the Plaza is popular for a couple reasons.

“Anywhere where there’s a lot of monuments or anything has a lot of Pokestops that’s why it’s popular, it’s got the most,”

Plus it’s convenient.

“I play every day. Every day. I’m at work right now. I’m supposed to be. I play on my breaks,” Ryan Minzloff, Pokemon Go player, said.

“I work here so I always come out during lunch and play,” Sana McConney, Pokemon Go player, said.

At first, McConney says she was surprised to hear about the stolen car the changed her mind.

“I think that’s nuts. That’s crazy. While I can believe it because I’ve heard so many stories of people falling off cliffs and stuff.”

She even admits losing herself in the game for a minute.

“I almost bumped into one of these poles right here. A lot of people are like watch out.”

Across the country, we’ve heard of more serious accidents including a car crash in Auburn, N.Y., where a man crashed into a tree while playing the game.

“Always try and be aware of your surroundings. We see a lot of people playing the game and enjoying the game, but they’ve got their heads down in the phone they’re not aware of what’s going on around them,” Smith said.

In this case, the stolen car was found eventually a few blocks away but police are still looking for a suspect.

People are urged to use common sense when trying to become the very best.

The incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Albany Police Department at (518)-462-8039.

CORRECTION: Police issued a correction saying the victim was a 23-year-old man and not a woman as originally released. Police say the owner of the vehicle, who was not with him at the time of the incident, was his mother.

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