Staten Island resident Mike Valloney caught both acts on his home security camera. "You can see him take the packages," Valloney told local news station WPIX as he watched the video. "He then runs down the walkway and puts the packages into a shopping cart."
Valloney is a retired New York City police officer, and even had a second camera capture the theft from a different angle. "I think he kind of knew he was doing something wrong," Valloney said. "And he was looking around to see if anyone was watching."
But two days later, the thief came back, with the stolen merchandise in tow. Along with the returned gifts, the thief left a note reading, "This is all I took, I'm so sorry. Happy New Year. I just want to do the right thing for this new year."
Valloney says he thinks the thief saw himself on the local news and had a change of heart. "It kind of made me think, 'Wow.' I don't think this person will ever steal again. And it made me think that at least he had some degree of conscience and he wanted to do the right thing."
Valloney says he won't press charges and would actually like to help out the still- unidentified holiday thief if he can.
"I probably would have invited him in after I spoke to him," Valloney said. "I was really glad he returned the property."
A similar event occurred in Italy last week, where someone robbed a man dressed as Santa Claus but returned the presents, still unopened, later.
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