TP'ing a house: why? What to do?

Hi all, parents of a much older kid here (who grew up in Berkeley with the help of BPN parents!). We've recently experienced something pretty unusual, and aside from being just plain curious about it ("who does that?!"), wonder if anything "official" can be done. 

Woke up one morning to a front yard that had been completely toilet papered (??!). Yes, we do both remember doing this ourselves, some 3-4 decades ago!  Back in "junior high" ( for those of you who don't remember, public school used to have grades 7-8-9 as jr. high, 10-11-12 as HS).   All of which to say, this seems like both an old-fashioned "thing", and a very young thing to do. 

So what motivates someone to do this?  Aiming for a middle-schooler's address and missed?  (This wasn't Halloween, when we did it so many years ago). Pure meanness?  Disagreement with our political bumper sticker?  The same thing that motivates dog-walkers to leave their dogs' sh*t in other people's cans?  Other?

OK so we're just plain curious to know that. Aside from understanding why, we're also curious about a more general "what can be done" question. This may not even be an infraction, of course, but now that we have security cameras installed, we're curious: when other people do trespass and commit an infraction (stealing packages?  Stealing other items?), can folks take their security film in to the police dept., and would anything be done?

Again, we're rather more curious than motivated to do anything about the TP, but would in general like to know about infractions caught on security camera tape. 

Thanks, 

Parent Replies

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We did this a lot around the ages of 12-13. As I recall it was usually done to the house of a boy we had a crush on! The other scenario would be to "get back" at someone who was mean or pulled another sort of prank on us. I think you are over thinking it?  Unless it is happening with frequency?

You say you both remember doing it long ago. Why did you do it then? It is probably the same reasons kids do it now.

I went TPing when I was in high school. We did a favorite teacher's house, a friend's house, and a random house with good trees. We brought along our foreign exchange students so they could get a taste of authentic America. So, yeah, basically because we were stupid kids. I know it is a pain to clean up (because we had to help) but it seems unkind/unfair for you to go to the police over something sort of minor that you yourself have done.

If you are in Berkeley, I wouldn't hold out any hope the police will care at all. Someone tried to steal our car and abandoned it (it was a stick) and the police couldn't be bothered to come and take the visible fingerprints off the car. Nor did they care any of the eight other times our car was broken into. And only once did they care about our house being broken into. So TPing, even with video evidence? Probably not.

I only remember tp'ing a house when it was someone we liked. If your house gets tp'd it only means that you rate high enough on the social strata to merit the attention. Egging a house is what kids do when it's mean spirited. 

You are overthinking this. To answer your question.... why did you TP? kids are kids. 

There are times when TPing can be an honor, such as after helping to win a sporting event, getting a promotion, etc.  When we were ages 12-18, we sometimes did  it to houses where mean kids lived yet strangely also if we had a crush on someone.  If you have a hunky/beautiful pre-teen or teen kid, it could be the latter!  Otherwise, I wouldn't overthink it unless more starts happening.  Just in case, be sure to be a very good neighbor...a good idea anyway.  

Getting TPed is an honor these days.

​City were I live many people have video cameras.  I know the police department has close to 100 cameras installed.

You can take the tape to the PD.  Here's the think they should be HD 1024 and have a high frame rate.  Many stores/people have cameras and the video quality is so poor it's useless for the police.  But if you have HD cameras the police will gladly take a look.

Be happy your house wasn't egged. Literally HOURS of cleanup and some of it is still stuck to the house TWO YEARS later. I think it was my son's girlfriend and/or some of her friends - it was not a good breakup