NEW YORK (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. The reports have forced police in some areas to respond.

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