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Hey, Pennywise fans: Lawrence police aren’t playing this evil clown game

Pennywise the evil clown is the subject a remake film of Stephen King’s “It,” which opens Friday.
Pennywise the evil clown is the subject a remake film of Stephen King’s “It,” which opens Friday. Warner Bros.

Lawrence police aren’t biting on the “clown thing” this time around.

The department tweeted that message after reports of scary clown sightings and red balloons elsewhere.

The small borough of Lititz, Pa., this week reported several red balloons tied to storm sewer grates around town — an eerie allusion to a remake movie of Stephen King’s “It” that opens in theaters Friday. In the story, an evil clown named Pennywise eats children. A red balloon is his calling card.

lititz balloons
The small borough of Lititz, Pa., this week reported several red balloons tied to storm sewer grates around town. Lititz, Pa., police Facebook

In a Facebook post with pictures of the balloons, the department said: “A certain movie is coming to theaters in two days, and a local prankster took it upon themselves to promote the movie...............we give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons from the grates and we respectfully request they do not do that again.”

The department also reached out to Lawrence police in a tweet, saying, “@LawrenceKS_PD since you (fought) the clowns last year maybe we should compare notes?”

Lawrence police experienced a spate of reported clown sightings last October. One sorority even went on lockdown. Police investigated but found nothing. The department tweeted at the time that “Being a clown isn’t illegal.”

Those clown alerts in Lawrence followed a rash of reported clowns in the woods across the country, particularly in the South. Some people were arrested in that wave.

Schools in Johnson County were forced to notify parents and patrol campuses.

Hearing of the recent shenanigans in Pennsylvania, the Lawrence Police Department sent this on its official Twitter account:

“WE DID THE CLOWN THING LAST YEAR WE AREN’T DOING THIS AGAIN.”

In Lititz, the sightings of balloons floating over sewer grates unnerved people. In “It,” Pennywise the clown grabs a child from a sewer.

In a small town of Derry, Maine, seven children come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.

“I don’t think we have an accurate balloon count,” Lititz Police Sgt. Stephen Detz told CBS News. “They pretty much hit the entire town.”

A teenage girl fessed up on Facebook that she and her girlfriends were responsible for 34 balloons.

“Don’t worry no clowns here in Lititz just 5 teenage girls having fun.”

A Kansas City police spokesman said he was not aware of any recent clown sightings in the city.

Clowns are a big hit in the twitterverse.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

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