Gun thief told police he was preparing for "clown purge"

Gun thief told police he was preparing for "clown purge"
Joseph Calvin Bishop (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A man spotted wearing all black, while carrying a backpack with guns in it on Halloween morning, told police he was preparing for a "clown purge."

The man, later identified as Joseph Calvin Bishop, 20, of Jonesboro, changed his story multiple times before admitting to stealing the guns.

Jonesboro police officer Christopher Pigg said he was on patrol in the early morning hours of October 31 when he saw a man wearing a backpack, walking in the area of Aggie and Airport Roads.

Approximately 20 minutes later, he saw the same man sitting by the road near in front of a trailer park on Aggie Road.

Officer Pigg said when he made contact with Bishop, he appeared to be nervous and changed his story multiple times. Initially, he said he was wearing all black because he was going to a black-out party. When asked about the backpack, he first said he picked it up from his girlfriend.

"He then stated that he found it and doesn't know what is in there," Officer Pigg said.

Inside, Officer Pigg found two guns. According to an incident report, when Officer Pigg ran the serial numbers through dispatch, they did not come back as having been reported stolen.

"I then asked him again why he is wearing all black and carrying two firearms in his bag. He then stated that there is a clown purge and he is carrying them to protect himself," Officer Pigg said. "He then changed his story again saying that he was carrying the bag but he found the guns by a trailer."

Officer Pigg said Bishop then changed his story again and said he found them by a church on Airport Road and carried them to the trailer park on Aggie Road.

Bishop was then placed in custody. While on the way to the jail, Bishop allegedly told Officer Pigg that he stole the guns.

After being read his Miranda rights, he explained that he stole the Springfield pistol from a truck just before Officer Pigg contacted him. He said he stole the Smith & Wesson approximately six days ago.

Bishop was charged with breaking or entering and theft of a firearm.

The owner of one of the guns was located but police are still trying to locate the owner of the stolen Smith & Wesson.

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