York College sends out safety notice after several reports of clown sightings

YORK —  York College of Pennsylvania sent out a safety notice to students Tuesday after Campus Safety received several reports of suspicious persons dressed as clowns over the past several days.

The college assures students that they have not been any reported crimes on or nearby campus by anyone dressed as a clown, and they have not been able to substantiate the reports.

The message from the school reads:

The “Creepy Clown” phenomena has spread throughout the country since this past summer. In multiple states, people have been reporting seeing clowns standing on the side of roads at night, in parking lots, outside schools and near the woods. Law Enforcement have dubbed these reports as nothing more than pranks meant to scare people. While it is important to understand that these reports involve mostly copy-cat thrill seekers, it is possible someone will use this as an opportunity to commit a crime in the future. While responding to these reports has been draining on law enforcement resources, it is still important to report these sightings so officers can confirm that there is no threat. It is advised to avoid anyone dressed like a clown in odd areas. With Halloween approaching, it is expected that sightings will increase. Campus Safety will alert the campus community in the event any real threat is confirmed.

Clown sightings reported to the Department of Campus Safety to date:

9/24/2016- Students residing in York City reported a car full of clowns driving down West Jackson Street. York City Police responded to the area and campus officers assisted in searching the neighborhood. No clowns were seen.

9/24/2016- A student reported there was a clown at the Student Union on campus. Officers investigated and were able to confirm this was just a rumor based on misinformation passed down from the earlier off campus report.

9/26/2016- An anonymous tip was received that there was a car full of clowns driving on west campus possibly with weapons. Officers patrolling on west campus along with the security officers in the west campus kiosks did not see anyone dressed as clowns or any suspicious vehicles.

9/26/2016- A student reported a clown standing on a corner near campus in York City. Officers responded to investigate. A search of the area was conducted but no clowns were seen.

9/27/2017- A picture of a clown was posted on social media that was supposedly taken somewhere on West Jackson Street. The picture is not clear enough to determine the location where it was taken.

9/27/2017- A student reported to a campus officer that he heard from friends that there was a clown somewhere on West Jackson Street over the weekend standing around by an alley and he took off running.

9/27/2017- Campus Safety was notified of a rumor that a clown had been seen in the library. No student or staff member reported actually seeing a clown in the library.

9/27/2017- A student reported that his friend had taken a picture of a clown outside Richland Hall the previous night. The actual picture shown to Campus Safety was one that has been circulating around as evidence of clown sightings in other locations. We do not believe the picture was taken at Richland Hall.