In April 2017, a robbery at the Macy’s at Crenshaw Mall occurred, as reported by Vice and detailed in court documents. Former Los Angeles Police Department officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were on foot beat patrol when the incident occurred. Calls were placed to police units in the area, and some, such as a unit that was on the scene of a homicide, rushed over to the mall to assist.
However, Lozano and Mitchell initially ignored the call before responding with a simple “no” when they were prompted once more. After all was said and done, it was discovered that they “willfully failed to respond to the robbery call and attempted to conceal the fact” by claiming to be somewhere other than where they were in fact.
The Los Angeles Police Department discovered that Lozano and Mitchell were playing Pokémon GO on the day of the robbery after listening to the recording in their police car.
After successfully apprehending the Togetic after Lozano “buried it and ultra-balled” it, they decided to return to a 7-Eleven in order to bring their watch to a successful conclusion. In the future, they would deny that they were playing the game and even claim that they were “merely having a conversation about Pokemon GO” and that they were “capturing [an] image” of the Pokemon using a tracking application.
They were fired after being charged with multiple counts of on-duty misconduct. They later attempted to have their case overturned by claiming they were not aware their conversations were being recorded and that their words should be treated as “in confidence.” The appeal was dismissed by the court on January 7, 2022.
While this event may have occurred in 2017, the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a new game in the beloved franchise, is scheduled for release in 2022, and it may provide yet another opportunity for someone to get in trouble for playing it when they shouldn’t.