The number of clown scare arrests is up to seven Valleywide, with offenders as young as 12.
The Phoenix Police Department reports five juveniles ages 14 and 15 were charged with scary clown threats.
Mesa police report two juveniles have been taken into custody. A 17-year-old student at Mesa High School was arrested for making a threat on Sept. 30. A 12-year-old student at Shepherd Junior High School was charged with making a false report on Oct. 2.
"It's no laughing matter," said Amanda Kulbacki, a parent. "I would call it a hate crime."
To prevent copycats, law enforcement and county prosecutors are taking a zero tolerance approach.
"Every image, every text, every mention will be investigated," said Detective Nik Rasheta with the Mesa Police Department.
While other Valley school districts also report claims of threats, no others so far are credible. Rasheta said a rumor or hoax is looked into as if it were real, creating a burden on police resources.
"Additional patrol officers, in some cases additional attention is being spent when it could be used in other places," Rasheta said.
"This entire activity needs to stop now," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
County prosecutors plan to prosecute anyone else making scary clown threats to the full extent. Montgomery warns students what seems like just a joke could impact them beyond high school.
"You're going to have to communicate to a college or university that your immature, irrational, irresponsible behavior doesn’t really show who you are as a person," he said.
Kulbacki is thankful for this tough approach to stop the threats that she believes are far from just wisecracks.
"I don't really think they're thinking at all, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it," she said.
Investigators say don't think social media will be a shield to make scary clown threats. Authorities have the technology to see who's posting and spreading them.
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