The Riverside Grinch who got stolen for Christmas

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A handmade wooden cutout of the Grinch was stolen from a Riverside family's home.

The Christmas decorations are up at the Tossonian family home in Riverside. With one notable exception.

Their handmade wooden cutout of the Grinch is missing.

Yes, the main character from the Dr. Seuss book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was stolen himself.

"Something is missing, they stole the best thing," said April Tossonian. "They stole the Grinch!"

It happened around 12:10 a.m. Monday, on the 11000 block of Turningbend Way in Riverside.

The Tossonians say their outdoor surveillance cameras captured video of a Scion SUV with black rims being driven up the street, then stopping in front of their neighbors' home.

The video shows two people getting out of the vehicle, and then stealing the wooden holiday decoration from the front lawn, before running down the street with it.

"It looked like a female and a male at first," said David Tossonian. "But I'm hearing it's two females is what it looks like."

Unfortunately, police departments across the Inland Empire say theft of holiday items, particularly package thefts, is on the rise this month.

"We respond to two or three calls of package theft a week," said Riverside police detective Rob Olsen.

Olsen said packages should be brought inside as soon as possible to prevent theft. He also said surveillance cameras should be placed in such a way as to capture the getaway vehicle, not just the thief walking up to the yard.

"So that we can see the car coming and going, as opposed to just looking at your front door," said Olsen. "It's really important to see how they got there, and the license plate on a car is very valuable."

As for the people who stole the Grinch who stole Christmas?

"If they could just bring it by and return it," said David Tossonian. "It is replaceable - but it's hard to replace, it was handmade."

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