FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A reindeer was ripped off from a South Florida hotel, and the person who took the decoration is being called a real-life grinch.

The woman and her friends seem to think this was all a big joke, but the hotel’s owner says this is no laughing matter.

“We were hoping they would sober up and return it, but so far that hasn’t been the case,” said Frank Talerico, the owner of the hotel.

It happened three weeks before Christmas at Ocean Manor Resort.

“Everyone’s been looking for this person,” said Talerico. “I never would think that somebody would steal something that large, especially a Christmas decoration at Christmas time.”

A Saturday afternoon, drinking at a Fort Lauderdale hotel’s tiki bar would lead up to a photoshoot with one of the hotel’s reindeer.

“When you have a few drinks. You get a lot braver than you normally would,” said Talerico.

And then this Grinch decided to steal a bit of Christmas spirit from the hotel lobby.

“It is disheartening because, you know, we spent two to three days straight decorating the tree, putting up the tree,” said Talerico.

The bold move had hotel guests and staff in shock.

“We’ve had little things stolen from the giftshop,” said the owner, “but no one’s taken a full-sized reindeer and walked out of the Ocean Manor Hotel.”

The group took off in a blue golf cart, clear as day, with Ocean Manor’s reindeer not leading the way.

“You feel like the Grinch stole Christmas, but the Grinch did return everything, so hopefully,” said Talerico.

That is the hope: that Christmas will be saved and that reindeer will be brought back.

The owner was going to wait until next week before he notifies the police, but the reindeer reappeared on Thursday, just in time for the holidays.

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