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Grinch Returns Stolen Christmas Lights With Apology After Video Goes Viral

By Nicholas Rizzi | November 30, 2016 3:07pm

HUGUENOT  — A Grinch who stole Christmas lights from a Staten Island home had a change of heart after a shaming video of his unseasonably mean deed was posted online.

A man took the projection lights from the lawn of a Huguenot home this week, but returned them the next day with a note after the video was viewed more than 80,000 times on Facebook.

"I wanna humbly apologize for stealing your lights," the note read, according to a picture posted on Facebook.

"It wasn't till I seen what u posted on Facebook that I realized what I did. I am not that person you see on the video."

On Monday, Community Education Council 31 president Mike Reilly saw the surveillance video of the man swiping the lights on a private Facebook page. The footage shows the man double park his car, get out and steal two of the lights before getting back in and drive off.

Reilly reached out to the Facebook page's owner and was sent the original video. He posted it on his popular page and it was shared more than 2,000 times.

The next day the homeowner found the lights returned with the note, Reilly said.

"I figured I 'd put it out as an alert for people to be on the lookout and basically make people see that these things are happening again," said Reilly, a retired lieutenant who regularly posts community notices on his page.

"In no way did I expect the person to actually to bring it back and leave a note."

The homeowner did not want to comment about the theft or the return. The NYPD did not have any report of the crime.

Reilly — who got a photo of the note and posted it to his page — said during the holidays he regularly has Staten Islanders tell him that their decorations were stolen. 

This Halloween, one resident sent him a video of a bowl full of candy left for Trick or Treaters being swiped in front of their home.

"It's a shame we can't put out nice things without worrying," he said.

Reilly suggested residents take steps to secure their decorations and put out larger ones that are harder to steal.