Kensington Residents Say They Are Dealing With A Heartless -- And Smart -- Thief, But Added Nothing Can Dampen Their Holiday Spirit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s not just packages thieves are after this time of year.

A real-life Grinch is stealing holiday decorations in Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood.

Now, angry residents hope new video can help catch this Christmas crook, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Thursday.

Someone is stealing Christmas decorations in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, and residents are not pleased about it. (Photo: CBS2)

Home security video captured on Dec. 1 shows an unidentified man carrying something along East Fifth Street. Neighbors claim he went house to house gathering up Christmas decorations.

One now-bare lawn had an inflatable decoration on it. Across the street, near a big snowman, used to be a Charlie Brown inflatable. Neighbors said it was slashed and then folded up and taken.

“It’s like the antithesis of the spirit of Christmas. That’s pretty sad,” one woman said.

“Some people don’t like, maybe, other people celebrating a joyous holiday and they want to show how they can bring it down, like the Grinch,” Kensington resident Bill Vasquez said.

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Halfway down the same block, John Delacruz showed CBS2’s Carlin the spot where a mechanical Santa that pops out of a box was stolen around the same time.

The lost decoration cost $90. It was gone after being displayed just two days.

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Delacruz was shocked, not just by the act, but that the thief pulled it off despite a total of eight cameras ringing the one property.

“This guy was very smart. He knew the cameras were there,” Delacruz said. “He came in right at the edge where I don’t have a good visual. He climbed behind the corner there, hid behind a tree, unplugged it and went right back out the same way.”

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The reason we know police are unaware of the full extent of this spree is because some of the victims said they considered the crimes so small they did not report them, Carlin reported.

“It’s just sad that somebody would take something like that. What’s he going to do with that, sell it?” Delacruz said.

“We still have the spirit. He isn’t taking that away,” resident Greg Wold added.

Some residents say until the man is caught they are wary of putting decorations in their yards. For now, some will only have them up high and out of reach.