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US police officers fired for ignoring robbery call to chase Pokemon: What you need to know

The officers were chasing down a Snorlax - a relatively rare catch. Picture courtesy Getty images/BBC

Two US police officers have been fired for ignoring a robbery and instead deciding to play a game to catch Pokémon.

A court in California upheld a lower court order dismissing Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell for playing the game instead of responding to a robbery call while on duty.

The pair were parked nearby when a radio call came in for officers to respond to a shop robbery.

According to the court documents published on Friday, the incident occurred on a "busy" Saturday in April 2017 when a call came in about a robbery with multiple suspects in progress at a Macy's department store.

Instead of responding to the call Lozano and Mitchell - who a commanding officer spotted in a police car "tucked back in an alley just feet away" from the Macy's - started "to back up down the alley" away from the robbery.

The pair denied playing the game but a review of their in-car camera footage showed they had been playing Pokémon Go and chose to pursue a nearby Snorlax - a relatively rare catch - instead of providing backup.

The men's appeal against the termination of their employment was denied and they were found to have lied about missing the radio call for the robbery in progress.

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