Anyone else a victim of teen vandalism? Crimes & Incidents, posted by victim, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 11, 2006 at 10:47 am
For the second Saturday night in a row, our house was TP'd and our car was vandalized, presumably by teens thinking this was a harmless joke. A week ago Saturday flour was dumped all over the (brand new)car, along with toilet paper and silly string. The damp air then causes the flour to turn to paste and it still isn't out of all the crevices of the car. This last Saturday, the same car was covered with Crisco, rubbed into every door opening, windows, all paint surfaces, etc. in addition to toilet paper in the trees and the ground. Since Crisco is not water soluble, it took hours to clean and still is not completely off. An egg thrown at the car scratched the paint.
We know of one other family that was "attacked" on Saturday and are wondering if there are others out there. Our high school child has no idea who is responsible, and we'd like to try and put an end to this. Sunday's are starting to be a bad day.
Posted by dott31, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Dec 12, 2006 at 9:33 am
I have lived in P.A. since 1965 with many children (we were a combined family parenting nine--yours, mine, and ours); and I do remember that in the 70s it was a recognition of success along with the annoyance when you and your high school daughter awoke and saw the toilet paper in the trees. This was in the days when Stanford Middle School was Wilbur Jr. High and Cubberley was one of three P.A. high schools. Some parents then worried when their daughters weren't teepeed as it was a sign that they were neither noticed nor popular. When one thinks of the teepeeing--and my husband and I have spent years planting trees on a large Sonoma County property--it may be a permissable outlet of energy and rebellion, given what the media state are the stresses on today's youth and given what seem to be the other choices--drugs, alcohol, wild driving, etc., attacks on parents even.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Dec 13, 2006 at 10:16 am
The fact that this is not something new is what amazes me most about this. When I was growing up I was taught to respect other people's property, so I thought that the whole idea of this disrespect was a sad sign of the times and deteriorating public morals.
I do try to teach my children to take a respect in our possessions and also in other people's. They have seen houses where this type of thing has happened and find it amusing. I tell them it is very sad because the homeowners have a big mess to clear up and if someone came and messed up their room and they had to tidy it would they like it? They think it is two different things and I just can't get the message across. I have shown them things from my childhood that I have kept and are still in playable condition, e.g. card games, board games, watches, etc. and they think that it doesn't matter if they spoil them when playing with them because they are old so consequently don't matter. It breaks my heart when some of the things I have kept specifically to show my children is completely disregarded.
I think it is part of our throw away society, whether it is tearing down a perfectly good home to build a shining new one, or buying a new jacket because the old one got "lost" and not even putting in any effort to find it.
So it boils down to this. We must all teach our children to respect each other, whether it be their physical bodies, or property (possessions). This is a life lesson that they are learning and if we don't do it while they are young, they won't learn it when they are teenagers and then what kind of adults will that produce?
This is not something funny or amusing. If we can't teach them then society in the future is going to pay. It starts with each of us. If we start accepting these "pranks" as rite of passage then we are in effect condoning all sorts of vandalism. It won't work. There is right and wrong and it is up to us to teach all our children for the good of us all.
Posted by Sean, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Dec 13, 2006 at 11:05 am
I had my yard TPd several times, eggs thrown at my house, car windows shattered. I hated it (especially the eggs - that albumin is STICKY stuff!). I questioned my HS kids about it, and they claimed to know nothing. In the end, I just cleaned up the mess and moved on. Years later, one of my kids received a letter from someone, admitting a couple of the transgressions. It seems that it was about teenage jealousy or envy, regarding emotional security. I found it interesting that the person who sent the letter was rich, good looking and farily popular. Go figure.
I can assure you that this phase will pass. Try to hang in there.
Posted by RS, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Dec 13, 2006 at 1:54 pm
Years ago when I lived in a different city, I had a teenage neighbor that would get drunk and take a baseball bat to the neighborhood mailboxes. Until the family moved away, I knew that once a year I would have to reconstruct my mailbox.
I suspected, but did not know who it was until after she moved away. A new neighbor saw her do it, but did not want to get involved without knowing the neighborhood dynamics.
Its a pain, but since your vandals are consistantly picking Saturday, I'd stay up a couple Saturdays or set up surveillance video.
Posted by Anna, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Dec 13, 2006 at 4:56 pm
We had our tree TP'd one Saturday night in November. We have no idea why. While I assumed it was just a random prank, a friend told me that TPing someone's house was a sign of a secret admirer when she was in school. Go figure.
Posted by Ray, a resident of the Palo Alto Orchards neighborhood, on Dec 21, 2006 at 1:51 pm
"When I was growing up I was taught to respect other people's property, so I thought that the whole idea of this disrespect was a sad sign of the times and deteriorating public"
Yeah, the modern world is such a horrible place. Too bad we can't go back to the 50s when blacks and women knew their place. Why do you old people always look back on the past as if it were perfect and accuse today's society of having no morals? Grow up and stop whining.
Posted by get to the chopper, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Dec 21, 2006 at 2:13 pm
Get a sense of humor and stop whining. TPing is hilarious. If you're upset about it, find out who did it to you and then do the same thing to then 10 times worse. That will make you feel better than crying and whining to your online buddies about how sad you are.