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HomeNewsUPDATE: Clown sightings pop up in Grande Prairie

UPDATE: Clown sightings pop up in Grande Prairie

UPDATE: Grande Prairie RCMP Constable Melanie McItonish says there has been no clown sightings reported to the Grande Prairie detachment.

Clown sightings in Grande Prairie have been reported on social media after several in Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Prince George, B.C.

The clown trend started in the United States and has slowly made its way to northern Alberta. It is being called “clownpocalypse”, which refers to reports of people dressing up as clowns to scare children, stalk pedestrians and sometimes carry weapons.

There have been unconfirmed reports on social media in Grande Prairie of clowns being spotted near Muskoseepi Park. Fort Saskatchewan RCMP Corporal Jennifer Brown says residents should report seeing something suspicious.

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“You never know if it is a joke or if it is real, so it doesn’t hurt to contact us. We would rather catch something before it happens, if that’s the case.”

She adds that there can be repercussions, depending on the situation.

“Obviously, if there is someone chasing somebody in a clown mask with a weapon, that is a criminal offence. They’ll be dealt with accordingly. It’s not illegal for somebody to wear a clown mask but it all depends on what they are doing.”

Another popular phrase that is accompanying the clown trend is people talking about “clown hunting”. It refers to looking for clowns and threatening violence against them.

“There has been comments that say if they see someone wearing a clown mask, ‘I am going to run them down with my vehicle.’ Obviously, we don’t want anybody to get hurt, whether it is the public or the person wearing the clown mask.”

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Brown adds that going out to look for clowns would be putting yourself in a position to get arrested and charged.

Recently, a 16 year old boy in Prince George, B.C. was charged for their involvement in the clown trend. This comes after an Instagram post of cartoon clowns was posted with threats to schools in the area.

A 15 year old in Fort Saskatchewan has also fessed up to wearing a mask around the city. RCMP received reports of someone with a mask on in the passenger seat of a vehicle, which then sped off. They also heard about a clown sitting on a bench near a spray park.

Although there was no indication of criminal activity, officers sent out to find who this person was. The boy came forward the next day to apologize for his actions. There were no charges laid in this incident.

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