‘Pokemon Go’ craze spreads through Hampton Roads

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Savon Pierre has not visited a lot of places in Virginia, but he’s been to the Steak and Shake parking lot at 5 a.m. — thanks to the new “Pokemon Go” app.

“You can catch them anywhere from work to here and you can track them down,” said Pierre.

Pierre, 20, and his group of friends usually stay near beaches, where he says he walked more than 20 miles.

On Wednesday, the game brought him to Norfolk’s Botanical Gardens.

A spokesperson for the Botanical Gardens said Pierre is not the only “Pokemon Go” user to visit. They’ve seen an increase in visitors since the release date.

While the gardens are encouraging players to come out and visit by promoting through social media, other businesses are weary of where the game is leading users.

Some Norfolk cemeteries have contacted the city about players on their sites.

“It’s not illegal for them to be there,” said Holly Christopher.

Christopher is Norfolk’s Division Head of Public Information for the Recreation, Parks and Open Spaces department. She said there have been close encounters between users and those visiting cemeteries.

Christopher said the city is excited that people are out being active, but it’s important for them to respect their surroundings.

“Cemeteries are a place where people have entrusted us with their loved ones. While we do encourage to visit our cemeteries, they are beautiful and provide a place of serenity and peace. We ask them to display appropriate behavior,” said Christopher.

Cemeteries are not the only places users were spotted.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office shared a Facebook post urging citizens to be vigilant while playing after “Pokemon Go” users tried getting into a church during vacation bible school.

“We live in dangerous times. It’s not normal for people to be pulling on church doors,” said York-Poquoson’s Sheriff’s Lieutenant Dennis Ivey.

Lt. Ivey said it’s important for people to use caution when out playing by not wandering into desolate areas and knocking on strangers doors. He also said players should be respectful.

“We’re not trying to sell a wet blanket on a game we know people enjoy playing, but people need to realize safety comes first and not violating others rights and property.”

Christopher said the city’s Information Technology Department reached out to developers of “Pokemon Go,” asking for them to remove cemeteries from the game.

Comments are closed.