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Caught on video: 'grinches' stealing, vandalizing at local homes

Posted at 3:56 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 20:54:32-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Across the county, doorbell camera video has caught 'grinches' behaving badly.

"Upsetting and makes me feel violated," said Catherine Butler, who lives on Palm Avenue in La Mesa.

When Butler woke up Wednesday morning, she came upon a mess outside her home. A wreath hanging on the side of her home was on the ground. A lighted garland was cut and left in her yard. She found a string of cut-up Christmas lights near the sidewalk.

RELATED: How to stop porch pirates from stealing your packages around the holidays

"It makes me mad. It's not right and it's very grinchy," said Butler.

Surveillance video reveals the culprit: a man walking barefoot on her patio railing, yanking down her lights.

"I put up things because it's fun to be in the season. To have something negative happen, it just feels really personal," said Butler.

Butler is hardly the only one feeling that way. There have been a plethora of videos posted this week of package thieves throughout the county, likely targeting Christmas presents. In Chula Vista, a video posted on the Neighbors App by Ring shows a man wrangling a large holiday wreath off a front door. In the post, the homeowner says the wreath had been put up for the last 15 years.

In another post from Spring Valley, a person seen walking away from a home and into a waiting car took a Mickey Mouse projector light. Sometimes, a grinch can be dangerous.

RELATED: A porch pirate stole a package from a home, then threw shade with a snarky 'thank you' note

In Escondido, the Pimentel family recently told 10news their six, holiday inflatables were the likely target for vandals on Saturday night, after they found BBs wedged in their home. Part of their living window was shattered, as their children were inside watching 'The Polar Express."

Ring videos show several grinches in a neighborhood in Del Sur, but these thieves had a change of heart. Teens are seen nabbing a $200 projector light. The victim posted the video on social media Wednesday and hours later, a teen was recorded dropping it off on the front doorstep.