Grinch steals Christmas tree on Staten Island

December 28, 2011 2:32:24 PM PST
A thief took off with a Christmas tree on Staten Island, but didn't realize that the theft was caught on camera.

It all happened outside a business in the West Brighton section.

There once was a little Christmas tree that lived on Staten Island until a Grinch came along and changed everything!

Adam Menoni bought the pre-lit, beautifully planted tree for $100 to bring some Christmas cheer to his Staten Island computer business, Qualitech.

The day before Christmas Eve, he arrived at Qualitech to find the sweet little tree, gone.

"This poor little innocent tree, sitting there with lights on it, not bothering anybody," Menoni said.

He checked his surveillance cameras and lo and behold, there was a Christmas tree thief!

He was caught in the act!

It's true, he's neither green nor is he voiced by Boris Karloff, but it looked to Adam like a real life, cigarette-smoking Grinch.

"To be honest, we laughed, to see someone nonchalantly come up and just take the tree, we all did laugh a little bit," Menoni said.

Adam's hoping someone recognizes this man.

He's called police to report the theft, though for the most part he's pretty good natured about the whole thing.

"I've got a lot of people calling saying they feel bad that someone took my Christmas tree at that time, but if this is the worst thing that ever happens to me, I can definitely laugh about it," Menoni said.

Now, a little branch is all that remains.

Perhaps if we plant it, it'll grow a new tree, maybe not a bad idea since Adam vowed to decorate again next year.

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