Australian police arrest a man after a spate of creepy clown sightings

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The appearance of creepy clowns has been reported across the U.S. in recent months, starting in South Carolinawhen children told police that a group of clowns had tried to lure them into the woods.

Thanks to the law of the internet, it was only a matter of time before the phenomenon showed up Down Under.

On Sunday local time, Northam Police in Western Australia announced on Facebook they’d arrested a 19-year-old man for allegedly terrorising teenage girls while in a clown costume. He has been charged with disorderly behaviour and possession of a disguise.

"It is alleged that he chased a group of teenage girls while dressed as a clown," the police wrote. The man chased the women to the door of a police station apparently, and tried to run away when officers opened the door.

It is not illegal to wear a clown costume. As police noted on Facebook, you will only be charged with wearing a clown disguise "if it is in connection to committing an offence."

The Western Australian police are not the only local force aware of the issue. On Friday, Victoria Police said it had heard reports of clown events in the state.

"The clown purge appears to be a copycat of incidents being seen in the US," the organisation said on its Facebook page. "Any intimidating or threatening, as well as anti-social behaviours will not be tolerated and will be investigated."

In New South Wales, where people in clown costumes were apparently spotted on Thursday night, Campbelltown police Inspector Tara Norton told the Daily Telegraph no arrests had yet been made.

"There’s the potential for retaliation or people could be seriously hurt or could die by trying to get away," she said. "Don’t get involved with a group of people going out to do something so ridiculous and dangerous. If you do, be prepared to face the consequences which will be serious."

Anonymous Facebook pages warning of dangerous clowns abound, from "Melbourne Clown Association" to "Clown Purge – Adelaide."

The Facebook page "Australian Clown Purge – Aint Clownin," which has more than 58,000 likes, recently suggested locals should expect sightings around the country, starting in New South Wales.

It also seems to take a break from terrifying Aussies to dabble in politics, most recently targeting right-wing senator, Pauline Hanson.

Image: facebook/Australian Clown Purge – Aint Clownin