NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The holiday spirit was stolen from about half a dozen Brighton Beach residents on Christmas Day after they discovered their cars were the target of smash-and-grab break-ins.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Thursday, the incidents occurred on and near Brighton Beach Avenue at around 5 a.m. on Dec. 25.  Surveillance video obtained by CBS 2 shows a man breaking into at least two vehicles.

According to residents in Brighton Beach, the Christmas Day break-ins were not an isolated incident.  People told Langford that Brighton Beach has been barraged by the smash-and-grab crimes in recent weeks.

Arthur Rosenberg said his car was the target of a smash-and-grab two weeks ago, right across the street from his apartment building, Langford reported.  “The problem is, forget about the window — the window is about $200 — but when you smash it the wrong way the mechanics of the button breaks, so that’s another $300,” Rosenberg said.

A police source told Langford the department only received three reports of car break-ins in Brighton Beach on Christmas.  However, smash-and-grabs sometimes go unreported since insurance deductibles may not cover the cost of repairs, Langford said.

Victims of the Grinch who stole on Christmas said they hope the surveillance video will help put a stop to the break-ins.

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