NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- McDonald's says Ronald McDonald is keeping a low profile with reports of creepy clown sightings on the rise.
McDonald's Corp. said Tuesday that it is being "thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events'' as a result of the "current climate around clown sightings in communities.''
The company did not provide any other details about how often its red-haired mascot makes appearances, and how that will change.
The burger chain's decision comes after a rash of pranks around the country that have involved eerie clown sightings, including several in the Tri-State area.
Principals from more than a dozen Manhattan schools sent letters home to parents informing them of threats made on social media involving clowns.
Another recent sighting involved a man dressed as a clown allegedly pulling out a knife in the subway.
In Yonkers, police said two men were arrested after being spotted taking pictures dressed as a creepy clown in front of local schools.
Police in Fair Lawn, New Jersey arrested two teenage boys who are accused of driving around and yelling at people while wearing clown masks.
On Long Island, a Nassau County teen claimed someone in a clown costume was going around with a kitchen knife in broad daylight.
At least one school district in Connecticut has also banned clown costumes during the Halloween season.
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