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Local church puts up No Trespassing signs after gamers turn their property into a Pokemon Go stop

Posted: 6:04 PM, Jul 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-20 18:04:49-04

Just about everywhere you go, the Pokemon phenomenon is apparent.

Pedestrians, bicyclists, and even drivers have been taking part in Pokémon Go and, at times, not always where they should.

According to folks at LAM Christian Church in Warren, the app invites gamers to pick up needed pieces to play the game on their private property.

“It’s a common spot for Poke Stops,” said gamer Nicholas Kay. “You will get Poke Balls. All these types of balls. You can get eggs that are going to hatch and you have to walk a certain kilometers.”

However, church members say it is hard to tell who is playing the game and who is just lurking on the property.

“This is a community church and we love the community and we love people coming by, because it's open to the public, but it becomes something of a danger, something of a hazard, especially when you don’t know what individuals are on the property,” said Jocelyn Howard.

Ever since the game came out, church members say they started noticing a heavy amount of foot traffic on the property, not knowing there are several Poke Stops here.

“Immediately, once the game started, there was just a flow of traffic coming on the property,” said Howard. “We thought, perhaps there was a wedding.  Maybe there was and open house.  Then we realized they were gamers.”

Howard told 7 Action News she reached out to the app twice, asking them to remove the church from the app and never heard back.

The church remains a popular place for gamers to stop and sometimes lurk on the property.

7 Action New contacted the app’s public relations company.  This is their very short reply:

Thank you for your interest in Pokémon GO. We unfortunately do not have any additional information to share at this time. We truly appreciate your interest in the game and will be in touch as more becomes available. Thank you kindly for your patience during this busy time.

Meanwhile, the church hopes a solution can be reached soon.

"Play the game, but respect the property and respect those who are here as well,” said Howard.  “At the end of the day, if you have a community facility - le'ts just really respect the property, respect what’s going on and also understand if there is a danger going on or if this can lead to something that is detrimental, let’s just refrain from that.”

7 Action News will continue to follow this story.