Pennsylvania police play along with IT pranksters

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Lucas Siegel
Sep 6, 2017

In Lititz, Pennsylvania, a small town in the southwest corner of the state, Stephen King fans are taking their excitement for IT, the newest adaptation of his work, to the extreme. Red balloons are being tied to sewer grates throughout the town, mimicking a visual from the book and film (designed to attract children to the monster living in the sewers -- so, you know, not terrifying at all).

While it's an annoyance for the Litiz Borough Police Department, they are also playing along quite a bit with the prank. In clever social media posts on their official Facebook page (a department representative confirmed to SYFY WIRE that the posts and page are genuine), they've acknowledged the prank and its connection to IT, and had a little fun back with fans and their constituents.

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"We give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these baloons from the grates, and we respectfully request they do not do that again," they wrote on the Facebook page. A second post was added later in the day, after media attention spiked for the first. The second post showed an officer in a red clown wig dusting comically for fingerprints on a "confiscated" balloon.

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So will they be able to find the perpetrator, whether human or otherwordly entity posing as Pennywise the clown? Well, in a town with a population of just over 9,000 there can't be all that many suspects, but it seems like the LBPD is fine with a prank, as long as it doesn't go too much further. Sgt. Stephen Detz told CBS News he found the prank "clever" and well-timed, but does ask that it end with the 20+ balloons that have already been tied and removed.

"I mean, somebody eventually has to clean it up, obviously. We've removed several, but there are still a lot more out there," Detz said.

LBPD's press and social media representative was unavailable for comment, but the story will be updated when SYFY WIRE hears back. IT is in theaters Sept. 8, 2017.