PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) - The recent series of scary clown threats FOX 29 News has been reporting on are now specifically mentioning schools in the School District of Philadelphia.
Sunday afternoon, the district and Philadelphia Police Department issued this joint statement:
"The School District of Philadelphia's Office of School Safety alerted both the Philadelphia Police Department and the Office of Homeland Security Saturday upon learning of these disturbing social media posts. The safety of our children and the communities surrounding our schools is a top priority for us and we are taking this matter seriously.
"The Philadelphia Police Department is actively investigating these social media posts and pursuing those responsible for them. The SDP Office of School Safety will continue working in concert with the PPD to ensure the safety of our children and our schools when school reopens on Wednesday after the holiday break.
"While there have been similar social media posts regarding schools in other states and in Pennsylvania the PPD and the SDP remain in contact with Homeland Security and will continue to investigate local threats on social media.
"If anyone has any information surrounding these posts, please contact the Philadelphia Police Department at 215-686-TIPS (8477)."
Just Friday, Radnor police put out an alert called Clown Threats Hoax.
It read, "Police departments around the area are receiving information regarding FALSE postings on Instagram from account #wenotclowininaround. There was a picture of a person dressed as a clown and the statement under the picture read 'We will be at all high schools this Friday to either kidnap students or kill teachers when they go to their cars.' As of now, it appears to have happened in a few other States overnight as well.
"We are making our local schools aware of this information that is being posted online. If you have any real threat or concern, please call 911."
Also Friday, two people were arrested and some schools were closed amid a rash of reported threats involving clowns against students in three suburban Cincinnati districts.
Those had been among the latest in a series of frightening encounters involving clowns nationwide. Since August, people in states including Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Maryland, New York and Georgia have reported scary or suspicious incidents with people dressed as clowns.
The following stories have all appeared here on Fox29.com since Aug. 29: