OPELOUSAS, La (KLFY) – There have been several clown sightings in St. Landry Parish, and for police it’s no laughing matter.
The Opelousas Police Department is taking the clown threats very seriously after receiving several reports of clown sightings around the city.
In a span of four days, police have received at least five reports that they believe are connected.
“It’s illegal (to wear masks so identity is hidden) here in the city of Opelousas. It’s a city ordinance Section 18:31 and we will be enforcing it,” said Opelousas Police Chief, Donald Thompson.
Chief Thompson says four of the reports were in residential neighborhoods: Cheney St., Congress St., Plaisance St., and Ina Clare Dr., and the fifth report targeted Northeast Elementary School.
“One kid did say that a person was trying to take him or her,” said Chief Thompson.
The latest report comes from the area of Ina Clare Dr. where authorities say a resident spotted at least four juveniles in clown masks late Sunday night.
“Dressed in clown outfits, knocking on doors, and taking off running,” explained Chief Thompson.
Residents that live in the area say with Halloween just right around the corner, they believe it’s all just harmless fun.
“Alot of people taking it as a joke and they having fun with it, and it’s really causing problems to some of the people in the neighborhood because they thinking like it’s real, which I really say it’s not,” said Opelousas resident, Treles Drawsand. “It’s a bunch of kids playing.”
However, residents agree the clown games need to stop.
“Because now alot of kids scared; they don’t want to play outside, they scared to go to the icecream trucks cause they told them that they was there,” said Drawsand.
As of now, no arrests have been made.
“If you get caught shame on you,” said Chief Thompson. “There will be consequences, we will enforce the law, you will get charged, you will be placed in jail.”
Chief Thompson says if he continues to receive more clown threats he plans to speak with the mayor about cutting out trick-or-treating in the neighborhoods period and just having it at the tourist center.