Highland News Leader

Highland police: We can’t confirm clown sightings

Scary clown sightings, which have been spreading across the country, have been reported recently in O’Fallon and Granite City.
Scary clown sightings, which have been spreading across the country, have been reported recently in O’Fallon and Granite City. AP photo

The Highland Police Department, in a Facebook post Monday, said it had received several questions regarding the possible clowns being present in Highland, but none have been spotted.

“The Highland Police Department has not been able to confirm their presence in the city, nor are we aware of them being violent in any way,” the post read.

A Facebook post showing what claimed to be two clown spottings in Highland was making its way around on Monday. However, the picture is dark, and whether it actually is a person in a clown outfit is unclear (one looks like a mailbox silhouette), or where the picture was taken.

Creepy clown sightings and hoaxes have been reported across the country, including in the metro-east.

The O’Fallon Police Department said it recently received a call of a person running around wearing what appeared to be a clown mask. The alleged sighting report came in around 1 a.m. Wednesday to the, according to Capt. James Cavins. Police said a resident from Castle Acres, a mobile home park, reported that a person wearing an “alleged clown mask” ran into the mobile home park from the area near Aldi. Cavins said police did not find anyone matching the description, and that no other reports have been received since then.

However, chatter on social media have also indicated that so-called “scary clowns” have been spotted in and around O’Fallon neighborhoods.

Similar reports were taken last month in Granite City when police there said they’ve received between five and eight reports of clowns being spotted in the city. But police later said that they suspected the clowns were youths who didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

Regardless, Granite City police were among police agencies around the country that have encouraged caution amid reports in a number of states of people dressed like clowns and acting suspiciously.

Meanwhile, the Belleville Police Department posted on its Facebook page Monday that it had received “numerous” calls of people concerned about online social media threats in relation to the clown craze. Police said the threats were targeted at Belleville schools, but police did not identify which schools were targeted specifically.

As with any suspicious activity, Highland police ask that, if you do see something, call the department at 654-2131 — or 911, if it is an emergency.

The Belleville News-Democrat contributed to this report.