Weatherford Democrat

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November 16, 2012

Police offer warning about 'cops and robbers' game

WEATHERFORD — On Thursday, the Weatherford Police Department issued a warning about a game that young adults have been playing in town.

For the last several months, high school and college age students have been playing a new version of the old game “Cops and Robbers,” according to police.

The game usually begins once it is dark, usually after 11 p.m. A group of young adults meet at a pre-determined location — most recently, Holland Lake Park in Weatherford, police said. The participants decide who will be the “cops” and who will be the “robbers.” The “robbers” are then dropped off at a location in the city limits. The goal is for the “robbers” to make it back to the original meeting place without being detected by the “cops,” who are in vehicles searching for them. During the game, if one of the “robbers” is spotted, the “cops” exit their vehicles and chase the “robbers” down on foot, tag them and place them back in the vehicle. Sometimes the “cops” will even drag the “robbers” back to the vehicle.

“Our concerns at this point are that the subjects involved in the game are going to be mistaken by a property or business owner as someone trying to commit an offense,” said Weatherford Police Sgt. Bobby Laine, “and this could lead to them perceiving the game players as a threat and taking action prior to contacting the authorities.”

This game may involve a group as few as five participants or up to as many as 60, which was seen in the most recent incident in Weatherford, according to police.

Officials said that most of the individuals involved in the game are good students and do not have any bad intentions.  However, the problem, police say, is that once the “cops” start chasing the “robbers,” they will run across private property, over fences and hide in bushes.

Police department officials said they are very concerned that playing this game has the potential for someone getting seriously hurt.

“We want the parents of the juveniles participating in this game to realize the potential danger they could be in due to the way the game is played during the late night hours,” said Sgt. Wendy Field. For more information or to speak with the Weatherford Police about the game, call 817-598-4310.

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