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Mid-Missouri law enforcement address recent clown sighting reports

Several local law enforcement agencies said they haven't been able to locate or arrest any clowns despite numerous calls from worried residents.

The Cole County Sheriff's Office said the clown sighting calls have tied up its deputies who could be responding to other calls for service.

In a statement Friday, Capt. John Wheeler reminded residents that Halloween is approaching and more people will likely be seen in masks and costumes. 

"We would caution those individuals trying to scare people that they could provoke violent responses by those they wish to scare."

Wheeler still encourages people to call the sheriff's department if they see anyone engaging in suspicious behavior or act in a threatening way.

A Facebook post involving clowns coming into schools to kidnap the students and kill the teachers placed a few mid-Missouri schools on lockdown Friday.

California R-1 School District confirmed it went into a precautionary lockdown. Students followed normal schedules, but outside doors were locked and access into the building was limited. 

Tipton R-VI School District kept its students inside for recess Friday and students who had to go outside for class were escorted. Schools officials said they were taking the extra safety measures as a precaution after local law enforcement determined there was no immediate threat.

Jefferson City School District also released a statement Friday regarding the threats at schools involving clowns.

"Student safety is important and we are aware of rumors regarding persons dressing up as clowns and causing alarm/concern as it pertains to student safety. Just as we do every day, we are in communication with JCPD and working with them to ensure and maintain a safe learning environment for all students.  IF we believe the safety of our students is at risk, we will take appropriate action and communicate immediately." 

The Jefferson City Police Department said they haven't received any reports of clown sightings. The department is asking residents to not believe everything that is posted on social media or to start rumors online. Like the Cole County Sheriff's Office, the department encourages residents to call if they see any suspicious or threatening activity involving clowns.

The Boonville Police Department also said it hasn't had any reports of clowns in the area.

The department posted on it's Facebook page Friday: "We urge people to stop reporting false information on social media and if there needs to be an alert we certainly will make one."


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