New Zealand man quits job to become full-time Pokémon hunter

July 17, 2016

A 24-year-old New Zealander is taking the Pokémon Go craze to the next level.

Tom Currie quit his job as a barista in order to become a full-time Pokémon hunter.

“I was visiting my dad on the West Coast when I got hooked on Pokémon Go,” Currie said in an interview with InterCity NZ. “So I called my boss, handed in my resignation and set off to travel around New Zealand catching Pokémon.”

Since starting his full-time quest, Currie says he’s caught 91 of the 151 Pokemon characters available in the game which is the latest smartphone app craze.

Currie admits his parents are “a little bit baffled” but his story has turned him into a minor celebrity in New Zealand.

“I have had people asking for photos and one guy even called me his hero for doing what I’m doing,” he tells the BBC.

“I have received messages on Facebook from around the world, messages of support from America, Ireland, Canada, India and Nepal.”

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are using the Pokémon craze to try and nab criminals.

Police in New Hampshire’s largest city are trying to lure fugitives with the popular app.

A post on the Manchester Police Department Facebook page announces that police recently detected one of the more rare Pokemon characters – a Charizard – in the booking area. The post invites those whose names appear on a list linked to the post to be “one of the lucky ones” to come capture the Charizard.

The list includes the names of the more than 500 fugitives on the department’s wanted persons roundup.

Sgt. Eric Knight said Sunday the post has yet to net an arrest. But it’s been popular with its Facebook followers.

Since the post went up late Saturday night, it’s captured more than 13,000 “likes.”

-Files from The Associated Press used in this report