ODESSA, TX (KWES) - People dressing up as clowns has become a trend across the nation, but now sightings have occurred right here in the Permian Basin for the very first time.
Photos are circulating social media of clowns have left some wondering if it's a hoax, but the Odessa Police Department tells us they received two calls last night of clown sightings.
One at 18th St. and Center Ave. and another at St. Joseph's Church on S. Dixie Blvd.
When police arrived the clowns were nowhere to be found, but Corporal Steve Leisure says it is completely legal to dress in a clown costume and be out in public.
"It's not illegal. It's perfect legal to dress as a clown," LeSueur said. "I mean, technically you can be cited for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, but we look at the totality of the circumstances, but generally speaking just walking around as a clown is perfectly legal."
Someone saw a clown carrying a machete at the St. Josephs church and took a picture of it.
Corporal Leisure he has not seen that picture yet and it is illegal to carry a machete.
He says the reason for people doing this at this time is unknown.
"We receive strange phone calls all the time and this just kind of adds to it," LeSueur said. "Obviously, these both came in as suspicious person calls and we receive a lot of suspicious person calls and we respond to a lot of them and a lot of them result in arrest. If somebody does see a clown they can certainly report it as a suspicious person call. We're gonna respond and we're going to attempt to locate the person and we're going to make contact with them. And if it's found that they're not doing anything illegal then they are going to be released."
OPD wants you to remember to always call if you see a suspicious person, dressed in a clown suit or not.
You can also ask officers to patrol your neighborhood if you feel unsafe.