Vandalism stunt using tins of baked beans, called 'beaning', prompts warnings from police and animal lovers
A bizarre craze, in which pranksters vandalise people's property using baked beans, is appearing across the internet.
Beaning or becoming a #beanbandit is the latest stunt to have emerged online and in Tik Tok videos.
Numerous clips have been posted on social media showing youths emptying the contents of the baked bean cans onto driveways, doorsteps or onto the tops of parked cars.
One incident reported to police this week saw a series of homes and cars attacked with baked beans and sausages, causing considerable mess and leaving some older neighbours frightened.
The vandals, which are rarely seen throwing the actual metal can at people's property, instead empty and smear the messy sticky liquid-like contents across homes, often under the cover of darkness, for unsuspecting households to then find.
Leaving unpleasant muck, alongside costing people their time clearing up the damage, the stunt is akin to 'egging' in which youths throw eggs and sometimes flour at people's doors and windows.
Egging is most often reported in and around Halloween, and has in previous years prompted some police forces to caution against shops selling eggs and flour to teens during October, while supermarkets have also declined to sell the items to younger customers in attempts to ward off any potential trouble.
And it seems beaning could be subjected to the same treatment with two police forces already having issued strong warnings about the criminal craze as it becomes more prevalent.
Surrey Police has released a series of photographs of damage caused to homes and cars together with an appeal for anyone else to have been affected by beaning to come forward or for those who know who caused the damage to report it.
While in Leeds both shopkeepers and parents have reportedly been warned to be on the lookout for youths, either wishing to buy large quantities of cans of baked beans over the counter, or where amounts begin to go missing from kitchen cupboards in family homes.
The use of beans to cause criminal damage has also prompted an alert to dog owners, who may come across the vandalism whilst out walking their pets, to be cautious about their animals inadvertently eating or licking the baked beans from doorsteps and pavements.
Website TeamDogs, which brings together a community of dog lovers, is among those to be issuing warnings from veterinary staff that there could be ingredients in some cans of beans which isn't suitable for pooches and could risk making them ill.