Police: Clown threats no laughing matter; false reports can result in serious charges

- Police in Maryland and Virginia say the false reports of clown sightings and threats are no laughing matter. In fact, they are pointing out that there can be serious consequences for those making the threats, either online or in false reports.

Prince George's County police say it takes up their time and resources when these false reports are made. In the past couple of weeks, there have been reports all around the D.C., Virginia and Maryland areas about clown sightings, clowns following people and clown threats.

On Friday, Arlington County police responded to a report of a clown threatening people with an ax at a park . However, it turns out there was no ax and that it was possibly a skateboard. And police never even found a clown.

In the past couple of weeks, schools in Alexandria, Arlington, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in the D.C. region all had heightened security and even lockdowns because of threats to schools posted on social media from clown-themed accounts. Teenagers in both Montgomery and Prince George's Counties are now facing charges because of these social media threats.

Prince George's County police has a message: several types of serious charges can result from false reports, even if people think they’re just clowning around.

FOX 5 spoke to the Fairfax County Police Department and they want people to remember that it is actually against the law to wear a mask in public in Virginia. It is a felony and it could mean jail time. But exceptions include Halloween and job-related masks.

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