Clowns in Afula.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Residents of the northern Israeli town of Afula have been frightened and shocked in recent days due to a group of scary-looking clowns hanging around town.
Local residents took to social media to express their fears and concern after sightings of clowns on street corners and in the town's forests. The 4,000 responders to a local news site's Facebook pages offered many explanations as to what might be hiding behind the clowns' scary facade.
"In the United States, [clowns] are chasing after people with axes and all sorts of machines to scare them. Some have even been murdered. It's very serious if this has arrived here, and it's not children," said one local resident.
"This is what happens when children are too bored," said another.
"This isn't a joke. This is a way to commit crimes (rape, sexual harassment, robbery and more), by dressing up. They could also put on a ski mask," one resident said.
A police investigation concluded that the 'clowns' were really a group of four 12-year-old boys.
"Police youth investigators opened an investigation into the affair, including open and undercover operations to identify those responsible," a police statement said. "Due to their young age, under 12 years old, the boys will be treated by the Social Welfare authorities following the conclusion of the investigation."