WASHINGTON — A day after Annapolis police said several Anne Arundel County children had reported seeing people walking around wearing face paint and clown costumes, police now say the kids made the whole story up.
Monday night, Annapolis police issued a release stating several children had reported seeing people in clown costumes around the Annapolis area going back to Sept. 15 — part of a recent rash of purported clown sightings in a number of states.
In a tweet Tuesday, Annapolis police tweeted the children “admit to making up story about clowns,” and that they would provide more information.
UPDATE – Kids admit to making up story about clowns, more Info to follow #Annapolis
— Annapolis Police (@AnnapolisPD) September 20, 2016
Annapolis police said they hadn’t confirmed the sightings and the reports came only from children.
Police have been dealing with reports of people wearing clown makeup and costumes trying to talk to kids in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina in recent months. In some of these incidents, people have been charged with making false reports.
As a precaution, Annapolis police said they wanted to make sure parents and children remember the basics of safety, as outlined by the National Crime Prevention Council.
For parents, that means knowing where your children are, telling them to run from an adult who makes them feel scared or uncomfortable, and encouraging kids to play in groups.
Kids shouldn’t talk to or take anything from strangers. They should do anything they can, including kicking and screaming “this is not my dad” or “this is not my mom,” to avoid being taken away by a stranger, and they should report anything suspicious to their parents, the police or any adult at school.
WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.
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