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PG&E Issues Pokémon Go Warning

Sonora, CA — California’s largest utility company is warning Pokémon Go players to stay away from its facilities and equipment.

The popular app-based game launched earlier this month and industry analysts estimate there are already around 10-million active Pokémon Go players. We reported previously that it is also gaining steam in the Mother Lode. Using a mobile device, players travel through the real world and capture and train video game creatures, called Pokémon, as they appear on the screen.

As the popularity of the game is increasing, the characters are being sought to be captured by the game players in more and more locations. Outside of California, three teens were recently stopped while trying to get into a nuclear power plant while in search of Pokémon characters. Other utilities have reported game players “tailgaiting,” or following employees into power plants after swiping an access card to enter.

Jason Regan, PG&E’s Director of Emergency Management, says, “Just because Pokémon shows up in a restricted area containing high-voltage equipment, doesn’t mean you can. PG&E reminds customers that its electric and gas equipment is off limits to the public. Climbing a pole or hopping a substation fence is not only trespassing, it’s also dangerous.”

PG&E is also asking parents of children who play the game to talk with them about keeping a safe distance from powerlines, transformers, substations and electric work sites.