This kind of canned food vandalism isn't an isolated incident in the U.K.

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overhead image of open can of baked beans
Credit: Adam Lister / Getty Images

The police department in Waverley, a borough in southeast England, has an active Facebook page, where it encourages residents to take its Rural Crime Survey, and it details its current investigations. In the past few days, one officer had a "well-mannered conversation" with a 12-year-old about the current restrictions on electric scooters, another wrote that he enjoyed breaking in his new boots while on foot patrol (and he stopped to pet a puppy), and it's also investigating a rash of baked bean-related crimes in the village of Wonersh. 

That's right: baked bean-related crimes. "Local officers have received reports of incidents in Wonersh where beans and other food has been poured onto residents' front doors and cars overnight," Surrey Police wrote. "The victims are understandably distressed by this unacceptable behavior." The Facebook post also included an image of four empty cans of beans — presumably discarded by the perpetrator — and a photo of some unfortunate local's bean-drenched driver's side door. 

The Waverley Police say that officers will continue to patrol the area and will "[keep] an eye out for anything suspicious" (like, maybe, a shifty-looking person carrying a half-dozen cans of baked beans in the early morning hours.) They are also encouraging residents to share their stories if their homes or vehicles have recently been "beaned," or if they can provide any tips that would help them identify the bean-dumper. 

The Facebook commenters haven't shared any intel, but they have made a lot of dad jokes about the carb-heavy vandalism. "I hope someone spills the beans on who it might be," one helpful resident wrote. "Wonder how long it will take the police to ketchup with them," another added. And a third person warned that anyone who'd considered moving to Surrey should know that "the crime rate has bean going up." 

Last September, a like-minded vandal poured baked beans all over the swings and merry-go-round at a children's park in Hampshire, England. "I don't understand," one parent wrote on a Facebook post that included pics of the aftermath. "[W]e have all been cooped up for a while now, would have thought people would want to look after parks." 

Several parents said that they decided not to let their kids use the playground after they saw the mess on the equipment. ("So sweet of someone to leave a snack for the kids after a long day of playing," one commenter joked.) 

And in 2018, a woman who was identified only as Emma posted on social media that someone dumped an entire can of beans on the hood of her parked car. The same person also left an angry note, accusing her of blocking the back entrance to a local business. "If you want a proper parking space, wake up earlier," the letter-writer harrumphed. 

Aside from the annoying cleanup involved, not only is this rash of bean crimes bad behavior, it's a waste of good beans.