BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) --Just weeks before Halloween, Target - one of the nation's largest retailers - is no longer selling scary clown masks due to recent scares, social media threats and arrests involving people in creepy clown costumes.
People dressed as creepy during the Halloween season have startled adults and children and prompted calls to police. It's happened in several U.S.cities, including Fontana.
Police arrested a 14-year old boy Oct. 5 on suspicion of making criminal threats using the social media name "Fontana Killer Clown."
In Bakersfield, police arrested a teenager dressed as a clown who was chasing kids and trying to scare them. Police there have also received upwards of two dozen calls from people claiming they saw creepy-looking clowns in their neighborhood.
The hysteria has Target pulling a variety of clown masks from store shelves, according to a statement from company spokesperson Joshua Thomas on Sunday.
"Given the current environment, we have made the decision to remove a variety of clown masks from our assortment, both in stores and online," the statement read.
Some of the happier clown costumes, however, are still available on Target.com
Some Target shoppers said the retailer made the right move, but other customers said the company was being overly cautious.
"I don't think people are not going to dress up as clowns, no matter how much of this scary clown stuff is going on. I think anybody who wants to do it is going to find a way to get a mask and do it anyway," said Burbank resident Nadine Spencer.