COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The recent rash of alleged sightings of would-be sexual predators dressed as clowns recently hit the LaGrange area.
It’s happening around the country, but when it happens here, police and parents go on alert.
The Troup County sightings were quickly discovered to be a hoax, but not before schools were put into what's called a "soft lockdown" in an overabundance of caution.
Similar clown sightings in South Carolina turned out to be hoaxes, too.
Two suspects in LaGrange now charged with making false statements to police are in their late twenties, certainly old enough to know better.
Of course, police need to be diligent and investigate all 911 calls because that's their job and they take every threat seriously.
They have to. The fact is, it could happen. Thankfully in LaGrange, it never happened.
The drain on police resources because of a hoax is the most costly part of the crime.
Another cost is the unnecessary fear and anguish caused by social media posters, some of whom eagerly share and spread unproven information as quickly as they can.
We should always be alert to suspicious people, no matter where they are or how they're dressed.
It’s just common sense.
And we hope the police aggressively prosecute pranksters for the distractions and distress they cause by making false statements to authorities.
Because fake sightings of child luring predators are never funny.
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