Category: US Society / December 21, 2012 1:10 PM EST
Christmas may be a time for giving, but the sentiment is lost on one woman who’s been stealing Christmas decorations from homes in Texas, as seen on surveillance video acquired by NBC on Thursday (December 19).
The Starnes family in Aledo, Texas, woke up one morning to find a Christmas wreath and lights missing from their home. They assumed that it was a prank pulled by mischievous teenagers.
But surveillance video taken at their home on Friday, December 7, showed a grown woman walking up to their home, then walking away with their Christmas wreath. The woman then returned shortly after and pulled up a set of Christmas lights strung along their driveway.
Homeowner Jon Starnes called the act "petty" and said he "just couldn't believe it that a grown individual would do something like that."
It didn't end there - the woman returned a week later and took another strand of Christmas lights.
Texas authorities said they're worried that what seems like a petty theft might escalate if a startled homeowner reacts violently to the woman trespassing on their property.
"The bottom line is, people can die over this," said Lt. Mark Arnett from the Parker County Sheriff's Department.
The same thing has happened least four times to other Aledo homeowners, according to authorities.
The Starnes family removed all of their Christmas decorations to avoid tempting the thief again.
"I mean, Merry Christmas," said Ashley Starnes, shaking her head. "I guess she needs it more than I do."