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Officials say homecoming tradition is causing an uptick in vandalism cases

tp tree
Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 12, 2021

NEW IBERIA — It's homecoming season and in Iberia Parish, two schools are celebrating this week. Driving through New Iberia, you'll see toilet paper scattered across several yards.

"It doesn't bother me too much, as long as the wind is blowing the other way," Bernard Scelfo said.

Scelfo says on Monday night, his neighbor's house was TP'd for the second time this week.

Scelfo says it's part of a homecoming tradition that has gone on for as long as he can remember.

"The lady that lives there picked up, her and her sons picked up everything. Last night they came again and did more than the first time," Scelfo said.

"On the tenth, we had a complaint some figurines were broken in someone's yard as they were participating in TP'ing the residence," Iberia Parish Sheriff Tommy Romero said.

While TP'ing is seen as a harmless tradition for some, Sheriff Romero says things are getting out of hand this year. The sheriff's office has received several complaints of vandalism and even an attempted break-in, according to Romero.

"Or they show up with eggs, and they egg someone's vehicle," the sheriff adds. "It can cause damage to the vehicle. Those people get caught. They have surveillance cameras, we will charge them accordingly."

He warns that in cases of property damage, deputies will investigate and arrests can be made.

"We want everyone to have a good time, enjoy homecoming. It's a special time of the year, especially for the students. If it becomes a problem, we will get on it," Romero said.

Other people chimed in on social media and said something similar: as long as the property is not damaged, they don't mind if the tradition continues.