Four Australian boys donning creepy clown masks who broke into Queensland hotel, terrifying people and attempting a robbery were charged on Tuesday, officials said.
The boys, three teenagers aged 14 and a 12-year-old, had scared off several people around the Cairns centre business district area while wearing the creepy clown masks on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, Xinhua news agency reported.
The charge comes right after a number of incidents were reported across Australia involving people dressing up as creepy clowns and scaring off bystanders, a phenomenon which started in the US earlier this year.
Queensland Police said the charges were laid on the boys after they were caught by security guards breaking into two apartments at the Lake St complex in Cairns and allegedly stealing several items from inside the units, including mobile phones, cash and electronic items.
Queensland's Far North police Acting Inspector Mick Gooiker said on Tuesday that all four boys had entered the hotel via an underground car park and were allegedly wearing the masks during one of the break-ins.
The boys were charged with four counts of entering a premise to steal, two counts of wilful damage and one count of public nuisance, which relates to the alleged mask-wearing incidents in Cairns.
This is not the first time the Australian police has laid charges on its citizens committing a crime while wearing the creepy clown mask.
Earlier this month, a 19-year-old teenager from Perth, who scared the group of girls near a shopping centre in Northam, Perth, was charged with disorderly behaviour and a possession of a disguise.
While another 15-year-old teenager was arrested and charged in Brisbane's south last week after police allegedly found him standing on the street wearing a creepy clown mask and carrying a knife.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)