Caught on video: Real-life Grinch steals Christmas tree from Bay Area family's car

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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Real-life Grinch steals Bay Area family's Christmas tree
A man named Jesus says he and his wife picked up a Christmas tree in Northern California, only for it to be stolen right off the roof of his car. Security footage shows what happened.

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- A couple became the target of a Christmas "Grinch" while running errands in Northern California.

A man named Jesus says he and his wife picked up a Christmas tree in San Mateo on Friday evening. They left it tied down on the roof of their SUV which they left in a parking lot.

Security video shows a white SUV passing by and then backing up to park in the neighboring space next to Jesus' vehicle. A moment later, footage shows the ropes around the tree suddenly release.

A second camera angle shows the driver of the white SUV cutting each rope one by one.

The man then loaded the tree into his trunk before driving away.

San Mateo police called it a "unique" case and said they'll be keeping an eye out for similar crimes committed closer to Christmas. They called the case "Grinchy because there are people with good hearts out there who are more than willing to help out those who can't afford a tree this time of year."

The tree Scrooge hasn't been identified but police say the Christmas tree lot provided Jesus with a new tree.