While hot chocolate consumption and ugly sweater parties are on the rise this holiday season, so (unfortunately) is theft. One Staten Island family even had the Christmas lights taken off their front lawn — and they captured it on video. 

With the help of Facebook, though, they got their lights back... And a sincere apology. 


Retired police lieutenant Michael Reilly came across the video of the Christmas light theft on a private page and decided to post it publicly. 

The footage shows someone emerging from a dark-colored car, walking onto the Huguenot home's lawn, then taking the laser projector lights.

The video was shared over 2,000 times. 


However, the light thief came across Reilly's post and thought better of their actions. 

Reilly updated his post informing Facebook:

The man in the video returned the lights with a note apologizing. The family who owned the lights extends a big THANK YOU to everyone for sharing!

The full apology note reads:

Hello,

I wanna humbly apologize for stealing your lights it wasn't till I seen what you posted on facebook that I realized what I did. I am not the person you see in the video. I was not thinking when I did it. I hope you have a nice Holiday. This was the first and last time I will ever do this. 


TBH, we're pretty impressed. 

Admitting wrongdoing is never easy. And this person was clearly thinking in the spirit of the holidays. 

Reilly, however, seems more skeptical. "He’s never going to do it again! We'll see how that works out," he said. 

To avoid holiday theft, he recommends using wire to tie down lawn decorations and installing motion-sensor yard lights.

...Or just hope your neighborhood thieves will feel some remorse. (h/t gothamist)