- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

An investigation is underway in Greenville, South Carolina, after police received multiple reports of clowns attempting to lure children into a wooded area, authorities said Tuesday.

Master Deputy Ryan Flood of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said authorities have increased the number of officers on patrol in the area and have opened an investigation after being told about a series of bizarre sightings in recent days from both children and adults alike, ABC News reported.

Sheriffs were first contacted Aug. 21 by a woman who said her son had seen “clowns in the woods” near the Fleetwood Manor apartment complex, according to an incident report released Monday this week. Several clown sightings have been made around Fleetwood Manors in the week since, with the most recent sighting reported Monday evening at Emerald Commons, another apartment complex in Greenville, the sheriff’s office said.

The incident report said that multiple children claimed to have seen “several clowns have been appearing in the woods” behind an apartment building and trying to lure them in “by displaying large amounts of money,” ABC News reported.

Several adults said they had seen the clowns as well, including one Fleetwood resident who said she saw “several clowns in the woods flashing green laser lights,” and another who reported seeing “a large-figured clown with a blinking nose, standing under a post light near the garbage dumpster area.”

The resident said the clown “waved at her and she waved back while she made her way to her residence safely,” the incident report said, according to ABC. “The suspect did not approach her or harm her.”

Fleetwood Manor residents received a letter Wednesday from the complex’s property manager three days after police received their first report.

“There has [sic] been several conversation [sic] and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing taking children or trying to lure children in the woods,” the letter began.

The incident report was the only official account of the clown sightings as of Monday, Drew Pinciaro of the sheriff’s office said Monday.

“This case has been assigned to our followup unit for further investigation and we also have deputies extra patrolling that area,” he said in a statement.

As of Tuesday, authorities have “not substantiated these complaints regarding clowns in the woods,” the sheriff’s office told ABC News.

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