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Police investigating after reports of clowns attempting to 'lure children into the woods'

Fleetwood Manor on August 29. Documents say residents at the apartments in Greenville called authorities on August 21, 2016, to investigate after children reported seeing "a suspicious character, dressed in circus clown attire and white face paint, enticing kids to follow him/ her into the woods." (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Residents in an apartment complex are on edge after reports of a person dressed as a clown, attempting to lure children into the woods in the area.

Documents state that residents at Fleetwood Manor Apartments in Greenville called authorities on August 21, 2016, to investigate after children reported seeing "a suspicious character, dressed in circus clown attire and white face paint, enticing kids to follow him/ her into the woods."

"Two little boys were in the woods. They came back and were like, 'It's a clown. It's a clown.' So, everybody was like, 'No, it's not. No, it's not.' Nobody not believing them," Kyria Klugh, a parent, said. "They went and got other kids and they come out. Then they come back crying, so we was like, 'It must be something in the woods'."

There were multiple witnesses listed.

One woman reported her son seeing multiple clowns in the woods "whispering and making strange noises." The woman told police she went to the area to investigate and saw multiple clowns flashing green laser lights.

The clowns ran into the woods.

"It scares me. It scares everybody because that's your child," Klugh said. "That's your baby."

Another resident told police she was walking to her home when she saw a large clown with a blinking nose standing under a light near the dumpster. The clown waved at her but did not approach her.

Warrants say several children in the community have seen clowns in the woods behind one of the buildings. Those children say the clowns have tried to "persuade them into the wood further by displaying large amounts of money."

The children advised they believed the clowns lived in an old house near a pond, that runs along a trail behind the apartment complex.

Deputies said they found the house near the pond but found no signs of suspicious activity or clowns.

Warrants state that deputies have received two prior calls about clowns in the area, and one call about gunshots being fired at clowns.

"Basketball court is there for them to play for," Klugh said. "Nobody should have to stand around over there and watch them because they hearing something about a clown in the woods."

Both incidents are being actively investigated and the sheriff’s office has increased patrols in the area.

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