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NYPD Commissioner Bratton Calls Pokémon Go 'Stupid'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- One person who won't be downloading the popular Pokémon Go on his cellphone is New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

"That craze is one of the stupidest ones I've seen," Bratton said. "I haven't the faintest interest in that stupid craze, don't understand it."

It seems few can resist Pokémon Go fever, even the NYPD. Several on-duty officers and a patrol car were apparently videotaped at a Pokéstop near the Far Rockaway boardwalk on Wednesday, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

"I know there was an incident -- facts uncertain -- involving several New York City police officers," Bratton said. "We'll take a look at that as to whether there was any inappropriate behavior on their part."

To play the augmented reality game, users roam through the physical world searching for virtual Pokémon creatures to catch.

"I think too many people have been watching the zombie shows on TV and basically our millennials seem to be fascinated with making themselves walking zombies," Bratton said. "It's like looking for a tooth fairy."

Bratton said players are also putting themselves at great risk.

Fill in the blank: Pokémon Go is ____. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton certainly didn't mince any words... . More: http://cbsloc.al/29yoVIL

Posted by CBS New York on Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Being lured into certain neighborhoods, that they have no knowledge of that neighborhood and subjecting themselves to potentially being victims of crime, it's the same as a lot of people trying to buy things off of Craigslist," Bratton said.

Police on Long Island said a 19-year-old man was robbed of his cellphone while playing the game Wednesday in Lake Ronkonkoma.

In the wake of robberies, injuries and other incidents, officials across the country have urged players of the game to be careful and pay attention to their surroundings while using the app.

The NYPD's 72nd Precinct tweeted out a list of safety tips for players to follow.

Authorities in Connecticut have also released a warning on Twitter, asking players to stay alert, avoid dangerous locations and to play in groups.

There are also concerns about sex offenders using the app to stalk children. Police in Indiana said they arrested a sex offender on Wednesday after he was caught playing the game with a 16-year-old boy on a courthouse lawn. The suspect had pleaded guilty guilty in April to fondling a child under the age of 14.

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