“Devious Licks” trend inciting potentially criminal acts

RAPID CITY, S.D. — TikTok is working to remove all videos and hashtags related to the “Devious Licks” trend.

First seen on the app, users post videos of themselves taking school equipment without getting caught. Then, they show them off on their accounts. The equipment can range from things like soap and sanitizer dispensers to more expensive items like SMART boards.

Users post the items on their accounts to see who can take the most expensive item.

Scott Sitzes, Supervisor for School Resource Officers at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, has been monitoring reports on this trend in the area.

“We had anything from soap dispensers to clocks,” he recounted. “We’ve even had students that are bringing tools from home for the express purpose of taking something or vandalizing something at the schools.”

A TikTok spokesperson issued a statement saying, “We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”

While the app is working to remove associated content, related arrests have been made in the Pennington County area.

Sitzes spoke on the truth of this alarming trend.

“The unfortunate thing about this trend is that this is stealing, this is vandalizing,” he stressed. “This is something that we don’t condone, we don’t accept it anywhere else in our community. And the schools are no different.”

The sheriff’s office asks parents and guardians to check their children’s belongings to make sure they are not stealing from schools. Such actions could result in a criminal offense.

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