Radford Army Ammunition Plant asks Pokemon Go players to stay away

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) The Pokemon Go craze is spreading around the country, but it's also causing issues with players going places they should not, like the Radford Army Ammunition Plant.

Pokemon Go players are trying to get to the white rocket at the front of the RAAP.

In the game, it's become a checkpoint of sorts.

But even crossing the fence line without permission is illegal, and can lead to an arrest.

It may look like a prop rocket sitting in front of the plant, but in Pokemon Go, it becomes a blue tower, called a PokeStop.

But that's not the only reason players were saying they were crossing the line.

Lt. Col. Alicia Masson, commander of the RAAP explained, "I caught a young man walking into our housing area holding his phone out in front of him, and he swore to me that there was a Charizard in our playground, and I politely explained to him that he was on federal property and that he needed to leave."

While there may be goals to reach and Pokemon to find, being at the plant is a matter of national security.

"We produce something for the Department of Defense that's pretty sensitive, the classification of our operation is extremely sensitive and I just have an obligation to protect our folks and protect the public and make sure people know that that's no go terrain," Lt. Col. Masson said.

Professor of communications James Ivory has done research on video games at Virginia Tech.

He said games like this can lead people to do anything to win.

"That idea of a game that's very simple but that you can always do a little bit more is going to attract people to push it just a little bit more and I think you'll see with the Pokemon, people are going to be pushed to stretch the limits into places where it might not be appropriate, places where it might even be illegal to go," Ivory said.

Ivory explained players should use their judgement, but it also falls on the company to fix the issue.

"They probably have some responsibility to also curb a potential for abuse like making areas that are dangerous or illegal or inappropriate off limits and I suspect we'll see a response from that company overtime," Ivory said.

But Lt. Col. Masson isn't waiting for that.

Masson explained, "I contacted the company, you can write to them and they'll actually remove your locations but it takes 7 to 14 days. In that time space we just want to make sure that the information's out there that it's not that we're anti-Pokemon, we just are not participating in this game."

Until the Ammunition Plant is removed from the game, Commander Masson said there will be extra guards at the gates.

She also recalled some players believed the rocket is public property, so they had a right to be there. It's actually federal property and if players are caught there, they could be arrested and charged.