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Detroit police frustrated by crimes involving fake clowns

Police discuss recent epidemic with fake clowns

DETROIT – Police all over Metro Detroit are getting frustrated with the sudden epidemic of clown-related complaints from residents.

One of the more serious incidents happened Wednesday in Brownstown Township, when police said a man wearing a clown mask walked into a Walgreen's with a pistol and held up a clerk.

The clown also threatened two customers on his way out of the store before driving off in his blue Impala.

VIDEOCreepy clown allegedly spotted at car wash in Clinton Township

"It's sweeping the nation," Detroit police chief James Craig said. "It's not a joke. It's not funny. It's creating fear in our neighborhoods."

A young boy in Sterling Heights said he was cut by a man dressed as a clown Tuesday. The boy said the man had a butter knife and dragged it across his arm.

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Shortly after the 7-year-old boy was injured, two women called Sterling Heights police and said three men in clown masks lunged at them with baseball bats.

The incidents have law enforcement officials concerned about the escalating violence.

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"If someone in a clown mask approaches someone quickly and it's mistaken for a weapon, and that person is armed, they could shoot that person, whether it's rightful or not will be determined after the face," Brownstown Twp. Deputy Chief Robert Mathews said.

Craig hopes the epidemic won't last.

"Knock it off," Craig said. "Crime is a crime. Criminal is criminal. If you go out and you engage in criminal activity, we're going to find you and arrest you."

Over the weekend, a video was posted to Twitter showing a creepy clown standing at a car wash in Clinton Township and waving at the camera. It was shared thousands of times.

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