Clown activity in Lake County

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Clown activity in Lake County

Sightings of creepy clowns have been reported nationwide and has been spreading as Halloween nears.

Sightings of creepy clowns have been reported nationwide and has been spreading as Halloween nears.

Photo from Public Domain Pictures

Sightings of creepy clowns have been reported nationwide and has been spreading as Halloween nears.

Photo from Public Domain Pictures

Photo from Public Domain Pictures

Sightings of creepy clowns have been reported nationwide and has been spreading as Halloween nears.

Demi Glusic, Online Editor

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The clown craze that has swept the nation within the past few weeks has also recently hit Illinois and more closely, Lake County, itself.

For weeks, authorities state to state have been receiving reports of people dressed as creepy clowns that have been wandering streets or other public places, often during evening or nighttime hours. Some clowns have been armed and have attempted to harm people; others have simply set out in hope to give people a fright.

According to Morning News USA, many reports of the clown activity have been shared globally through social media. Many of these have been exposed to be staged setups, which means it is not entirely known how often actual sightings have occurred.

This trend has recently picked up in the Chicagoland area. Multiple reports of clowns chasing children near schools across several counties have been released.

The Chicago Tribune released on an online article that on Oct. 4, a report was made to police that children at Greenwood Elementary School in Waukegan had seen three clowns at the edge of the school property during recess. The children claimed that one held a knife, one a briefcase, and one an item that resembled a gun. They said that the clowns spoke and said that they would be back the next day to kill them. The school was briefly put on lockdown, but that was lifted after a short police search did not turn up any suspicious evidence of clowns.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Waukegan Police Department released a statement saying that the children who initially made the report later admitted to fabricating the story of seeing the clowns. The three “clowns” were nothing more than regular construction workers who were walking past the school.

After the news of a possible Lake County clown threat, rumors began to circulate around LHS and the surrounding area about possible sightings in the area. None of the rumored sightings can be confirmed nor put down at the moment. Mr. Clinton Herdegen, the Libertyville Police Chief, expressed over email that the Libertyville Police Department has not “experienced any reports of clowns in Libertyville or around any Libertyville Schools.”

As Halloween is quickly approaching, questions of safety and clowns are increasing in the Lake County area. According to USA Today, sales in clown costumes are up 300% higher than they were last year. As a safety precaution, Herdegen stated that patrols around both public and private schools in District 70 have been increased to ensure safety of students and citizens.

If residents see a clown that is acting suspiciously, police say it should be treated the same as if it was any other suspicious person. Report the incident to the local police station and they will look into it just as they would with any other suspicious-person report.

“The safety of students and residents is of primary concern, so we do not mind spending a little more time around the schools or checking on somebody who has been reported as behaving in a suspicious manner,” said Herdegen.

The Libertyville police department reminded people in a Facebook post that dressing as a clown in itself is not illegal; however “it IS illegal to act in such a way that it alarms or disturbs others.”

“I think it is stupid that people dress as these scary clowns in their spare time,” stated junior Kelly Litwitz. “Is there not something better to do with your time than make others fear for their safety?”

Residents of Libertyville are encouraged to refer to Libertyville Police Station’s Facebook page to stay up to date with all of the local clown activity.

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