FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A mailbox menace is on the prowl in Fort Lauderdale, and the driver was caught on camera committing the crime.

Twelve days before Christmas, a thief was seen stealing mail in the South Middle River neighborhood.

“Shocked, absolutely,” Michael Barger said. “I think it’s because it’s Christmas, hoping for packages or checks.”

Another similar theft happened on Dec. 12, at around 5 a.m. when, investigators said, someone in what appeared to be in a lighter colored Lexus turned onto Northwest Sixth Avenue from 15th Street.

“Hit my neighbors’ mailbox, opened it, pulled everything out, and then pulled up to my mailbox, opened it, pulled everything out, and then he started going down the street,” said Barger.

The subject then went down Sixth Avenue and took the mail that wasn’t theirs.

“This is the time of year when everyone comes together and you have someone coming along who just wants to take from the joy and happiness that everyone wants to share around,” said Barger.

Sadly, this Grinch is not alone. 7News has covered a handful of similar crimes over the past year across South Florida.

One incident involved 31-year-old James Pierre, who was caught red-handed back in August.

According to police, Pierre was roaming a Plantation neighborhood in his truck with dozens of packages that weren’t his. He’s currently awaiting trial.

Unfortunately, mail thefts happen all the time, especially during the holidays. But there are some easy things you can do, according to the Post Office, to make sure residents don’t fall victim.

“Don’t leave your mail overnight,” said United States Postal Service Postal Inspector Blanca Alvarez. “If you are not going to be available to pick up your mail after it’s delivered, then ask a trusted person to pick up the mail for you, or ask the Post Office to hold the mail for you.”

As for the Lexus driving sticky-fingered thief, residents had some harsh words for them.

“Stop stealing the love, stop stealing the joy. Don’t be a parasite,” said Barger.

The Postal Service is now investigating. They are offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

If you have any information on these thefts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

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