toilet paper locked with chain and padlock

If facility cleaning managers or building service contractors are experiencing instances of vandalism and/or theft in restrooms, there’s likely an unfortunate reason for it. TikTok trends come and go in waves, but unfortunately one of the more detrimental trends to recently catch fire is “Devious Licks" where users are encouraged to vandalize or steal common school equipment, the post a highlight of the "score" on the social platform. As USA TODAY reports, anything from film projectors to computers have been taken, but the most common items targeted are found in school restrooms — namely mirrors, toilets, and soap and towel dispensers. 

Perhaps the most notorious video posted since the onset of the trend involves one student boasting about the theft of COVID-19 tests, unzipping a backpack full of the rapid antigens tests while going on to show even more stolen items stuffed in drawers. The video has since been taken off TikTok, along with the trending hashtag, #deviouslick, but not before 4.6 million views were garnered. In total, over 175 million views involving #deviouslick content had been accumulated prior to the ban being made. “Lick” is a slang term for robbery/theft — and many of the videos play popular songs in the background referencing “hitting a lick.”

As expected, schools are reacting swiftly and putting the hammer down in response to the trend. On one video, a student commented that their school banned the use of phones altogether as a result. 

It is essential that cleaning professionals be aware of the social trend and implement best practices to prevent vandalism in their facilities. In many cases, school officials are involving local law enforcement to help stop the thefts from continuing. 

This trend reminds us of a similar memorable story where an 18-carat gold toilet was stolen from an art exhibit in Blenheim Palace in England. For more on that, click here