How to Bust a Toilet Paper Vandal
If you wake up to discover your beautiful home and yard have been covered with toilet paper, you may want to find out who did it. Here’s how.
At Halloween your house may be vandalized by budding toilet paper artists. What seems like a harmless prank to many, doesn’t seem so funny when it costs you an afternoon of clean up time.
If it rains, hardened or soggy toilet paper all over your well-kept home and yard may seem like a disaster, because while your neighbors are nibbling on apple cider donuts and sipping hot drinks, you find yourself, plastic bag in hand, vigorously scraping your siding, and scooping up bunches of wet toilet paper off of your once attractive front lawn.
While cleaning up, you might catch yourself muttering about justice and fairness, and how you would like to bust the culprits. However, many times no one gets caught. With these tips, you might be able to catch them. When this happened to us, we were able to catch the teen tricksters by following these steps:
First, we looked around for footprints. We were able to find two distinct sets of footprints on our porch and on clumps of toilet paper scattered on the property. We wondered if the footprints were from the perpetrators, or if they were from innocent passers by, such as our mail delivery person. Then we found fresh, matching prints on the porch railing. Since it is not customary for our mail carrier to stand on our railing, and the prints were too big to match our own kid’s shoes, we knew the prints had to belong to the culprit. You will be likely to find footprints on your porch if they have toilet papered over the top of your house.
The footprints in clumps of toilet paper were very clear, because the paper had become compacted under the weight of the perpetrator’s footstep. We had a perfect impression on one clump of paper, even including the brand name of the shoe stamped into the bottom of the sole.
Second, we interviewed neighbors. Neighbors can sometimes provide a clear description of unfamiliar people who approached the house. We asked about age, height, weight, skin color, hair color, and mode of transportation. We took notes.
Third, we talked with police. They were interested in following up with us if we had evidence. Because of our careful search of our property we could provide it. It became unnecessary for us to work further with the police, though, because we were able to match one set of footprints to a troubled member of our extended family. She confessed to the family, and identified her accomplice. We are following up to be sure that appropriate consequences prevent them from escalating their antics.
So if your house is vandalized by toilet paper perpetrators this year, and if you think it is appropriate in your case to follow up until you have brought the culprit to justice, remember to carefully examine your property for footprints, examine the toilet paper for footprints, talk to the neighbors, and talk to the police. Even if all you do is expose the person who is responsible for the mess, you will be contributing to the public welfare of your community.