Amid the trend of creepy clown sightings that have swept the globe, Target has decided to abort all sales of clown masks.
The retail giant removed clown masks from its online retailer and stores on Oct. 16—two weeks from Halloween.
“We had a few masks in stores, which we began to pull last week,” a Target representative told ABC News. “We also have edited down our assortment online. You’ll still find clown masks there, but we made the decision to pull back on the number.”
As of Oct. 17, searches for “clown masks” on its website yielded zero results, though clown costumes for children and oversized clown suites were still available for purchase.
The decision to stop the sales of clown masks was made out of “sensitivity to the issue at hand,” the representative said. There have been several reports of clowns attempting to lure children into the woods.
The first clown sighting was on Aug. 21 at the Fleetwood Manor Apartments in Greenville County, South Carolina. The woman told authorities that she was standing outside of her apartment when her son said he had seen “clowns in the woods whispering and making strange noises.”
The pair walked towards the direction of the clowns, where she saw them “flashing green laser lights” before they fled into the woods. No arrests were made at the time.
Since then, clown hysteria has grown as sightings were reported in states across the nation—New York, Utah, Kentucky, Florida, West Virginia, Texas, California and more. Police have reassured its citizens that there is no imminent threat and to refrain from shooting clowns.
A Santa Clara, California, a man was arrested on Oct. 16 after firing a warning shot into the air to scare off a knife-wielding clown, reported the Signal Santa Clara Valley.
The man said he was outside of his home at around 6:30 a.m. when he was approached by a man dressed in a clown costume.
Responding officers searched the area and arrested a suspect with a clown mask who had burglary tools on him. Investigators said the arrested suspect isn’t the knife-wielding clown that is said to have approached the homeowner.
The homeowner was also arrested after police found narcotics and a stash of weapons in his home.
There is currently no active investigation to locate the knife-wielding clown.
Threatening clowns have spread onto social media with threats targeting schools.
Pennsylvania police arrested a 16-year-old girl on Oct. 13, who they said posted threatening clown messages on social media targeted towards local schools. The unnamed student faces a litany of charges, including terroristic threats with intent to cause serious public inconvenience or cause terror and criminal use of a communications facility. She is currently being held at a juvenile detention center.