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Facebook Video Of Holiday Heist Sparks Change Of Heart In Decoration Thief

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- In a spate of holiday heists on Staten Island, thieves have grabbed lights and other Christmas decorations.

But as CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, at least one had a change of heart, and may no longer be on the naughty list.

Laser projection lights are an easy way to shower your home with holiday spirit, but the stake mounted lights are also easy to steal.

One disappeared from a Huguenot house overnight Monday into Tuesday.

"This morning it was gone, just gone," Genia Falcone said. "Christmas time, you wouldn't think somebody would be doing that."

It does seem contrary to the reason for the season, but holiday heists are a perennial problem.

Another home in Huguenot caught a crook on surveillance video stealing two laser projector lights.

It was posted on Facebook and viewed more than 80,000 times.

After being shamed on social media, the guy who stole those lights had a change of heart -- kind of like Ebenezer Scrooge at the end of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." On Tuesday morning, he returned what he stole and left a note.

"I wanna humbly apologize for stealing your lights. It wasn't til I seen what you posted on Facebook that I realized what I did. I am not that person you see on the video."

Mike Reilly runs the Facebook page that posted the video.

"He's never going to do it again! We'll see how that works out," he said.

Reilly is a retired police officer. He said securing decorations with wire is a smart step.

"(It) makes it harder to take," he said.

He also mentioned motion sensing lights which can act as a deterrent.

"It may startle them if they go near it, and then all of a sudden it comes on, and they'll move away," Reilly said.

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