'Terrified' police remove 'It' balloons from sewer grates

Horror-invoking red balloons floating from sewer grates plague a town, but the local cops are on the case.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

The police didn't spot any clowns nearby.

Lititz Police

What's scarier than a killer clown? A red balloon tied to a sewer grate that hints at the horror mayhem to come. 

The Lititz Borough Police Department in Pennsylvania faced a real-world version of the lure used by the clown in Stephen King's "It." A new adaptation of the novel hits theaters this week. 

Vice brought our attention to this bizarre balloon trend, which is either a brilliant bit of movie advertising or a devilishly clever prank. The cops seem to think it's the work of a local prankster, though there have been reports of balloons popping up in other locations ahead of the movie's opening.

The police posted photos to Facebook on Tuesday, saying "...we give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons from the grates and we respectfully request they do not do that again."

The Lititz Police also took to Twitter to further its tongue-in-cheek response to the balloon incident:

We can rest easy now knowing the cops are on the case. On a slightly more serious note, the department issued a series of tips on Instagram for handling creepy-clown sightings. Remember, "Simply wearing a clown costume is not a crime." 

Every geek movie we're excited about in 2017

See all photos

CNET en EspañolGet all your tech news and reviews in Spanish.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.