National retailer Target is pulling some clown masks off its store shelves and website due to reports of creepy clown sightings and incidents across the country.
“Given the current environment, we have made the decision to remove a variety of clown masks from our assortment, both in stores and online,” Joshua Thomas, spokesman for Target, said Monday in a statement.
Target’s decision follows a growing number of reports on social media and to police of people wearing creepy or scary looking clown costumes.
Since August, police around the country have received reports of clowns being spotted in wooded areas, attempting to lure children, or making threats or aggressive acts. Some of the reports have been determined to be hoaxes.
The first reports came out of South Carolina and have since spread to several states, as well as Long Island.
Earlier this month, Nassau and Suffolk County police and two school districts — Central Islip and North Babylon — said they had received reports of people wearing clown costumes while “acting in a menacing manner.”
Almost two weeks ago, Nassau police reported that a thin man dressed as a clown approached a 14-year-old Lakeview high school student from behind and displayed a large kitchen knife. The suspect, about 6 feet tall, wore a purple clown costume, a white mask and a red wig, the police said.