Bean bandits: why teenagers are throwing baked beans at people’s houses

Name: Beaning.

Age: About a month old.

Appearance: Just, like, loads and loads of baked beans.

Well, this sounds delicious. It is anything but. Beaning is an act of cruel intimidation and the perpetrators are merchants of pure evil.

Really? What does beaning involve? OK, brace yourself. Beaning is the act of buying an unnaturally large quantity of beans and then throwing them at someone’s house.

Oh, I get it. Like egging. No, not like egging at all. Egging is when you throw eggs at someone’s house. Beaning is throwing beans at someone’s house. It’s much worse.

Right. Because the tins can break windows. No, no one throws the tins. That would be called tinning, wouldn’t it? Beaning involves emptying the tin and throwing the loose beans.

I imagine being a victim of beaning would be very inconvenient. It’s worse than inconvenient. Beaning is so prevalent that the police have had to intervene. In fact, they have issued alerts about beaning, urging people to look out for the warning signs.

Which are? According to Michelle Owens, a community support officer in Morley, Leeds, shopkeepers should “be aware of youths buying large quantities of cans of beans. If you have children living at home, please be mindful if you see them removing cans of beans from the family home.”

Yeah, that makes sense. Yes. It is our duty as citizens to carefully log any sightings of teenagers carrying multipacks around, in case they have been radicalised by big beaner.

Who is telling all these kids to take up beaning? Users on TikTok, obviously. The social media platform is awash with videos of errant beaners, identifying themselves with the hashtag #beanbandits.

Chilling. It is spreading fast, too. PSCO Owen’s warning might be new, but police in Surrey launched an appeal more than a month ago after the village of Wonersh was vandalised by loose beans and discarded tins.

Flipping TikTok. I know. First it had everyone singing sea shanties, now this. This isn’t quite as reprehensible as the sea shanties, though. Remember that? Brr.

What can we do to prevent the rise of beaners? Very little. Other than obeying police advice and remaining vigilant towards teenagers armed with beans, we are helpless. A beaning can happen anywhere, at any time.

This is all very scary. Don’t be scared; it is just a TikTok trend. Give it a week and beaning will be old hat – everyone will start eating soap or wearing jelly on their head or whatever. God, I hate TikTok.

Do say: “Beaning is a thoughtless act of vandalism.”

Don’t say: “If I catch any beaners, they’re toast.”