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Yakima law enforcement encourages people not to panic, no credible sign of clowns

Andres Geitan holds sign reading: "Jesus runs this town, not these clowns." (KIMA)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- When Andres Geitan saw threatening clown posts online, he sprang into action.

He hopped on a bus to Yakima from the Lower Valley to tell people not to panic.

"I just wanted to let the community know that these clowns do not run this town, as my sign says, 'Jesus runs this town, not these clowns,'" Andres said.

It's a message local law enforcement also wants to get out after social media posts began circulating Tuesday night, saying evil clowns were targeting Yakima County.

"At this point we would encourage people to be calm, to understand there's no mass hysteria going on in the country with clowns that are going out and killing people," Yakima County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Mike Russell said.

So far, each post appears to be a hoax.

Yakima School District leaders say they've identified two students behind some of the online accounts.

It's unclear what kind of consequences they could face.

"We'll make a determination a if a crime was committed and who was involved in those posts," Yakima Police Department Spokesperson Mike Bastinelli said.

Police say there are also rumors spreading about clown sightings around Yakima.

Police have gotten multiple calls from people saying they spotted a clown nearby.

"We're investigated every single one and we haven't found one nor has anyone provided any pictures," Bastinelli said.

Despite the empty claims, police are still taking these tips seriously.

They've added extra patrol to school grounds, and are on alert for anything suspicious.

"We always have to be cautious and we have to be certain that it's not and so we will investigate it and look into in the event that there might be some validity to it," Sgt. Russell said.

Law enforcement leaders do encourage the public to continue to report anything suspicious or any threats they see online.

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