NEW YORK - Target announced it is suspending sales of clown masks at its stores and online.

Joshua Thomas, a spokesperson for Target, says the decision to remove the items came as a result of the increase in creepy clown sightings that have swept across not only the United States, but much of Europe.

"Given the current environment, we have made the decision to remove a variety of clown masks from our assortment, both in stores and online," Thomas wrote in a statement.