A thief taking cues from the Grinch has been caught on camera snatching a Chilliwack family’s pricey Christmas decoration.

Darsell Poittris said his multiple sclerosis has made it all but impossible to cover his home in traditional Christmas lights, but this year his mother-in-law gave him an Elf Light as an early present.

The sought-after decoration shines colourful lasers onto homes from across the yard.

“The kids just loved it. They loved the Christmas lights,” Poittris said.

The gift was screwed into Poittris’s fence, but that didn’t stop an opportunistic thief from taking it.

A surveillance camera caught a man approaching the family’s home and knocking on the door. When no one answers, he walks over to the light and bends over.

He eventually unplugs the electrical cord connected to the light, leaves the yard and is seen pedaling off on a bike.

“The nerve of the guy to do something like that,” Poittris said. “You’re stealing from my kids.”

Poittris is on disability and said neither he nor his mother-in-law can afford to replace the gift.

“She’s got breast cancer and… doesn’t have a lot of money so a $200 expenditure is a big chunk out of it.”

Police warn thieves are out in full-force this time of year, and will target gifts anywhere they can find them, from homes to unlocked cars.

Poittris said he’s holding out hope the light will somehow be returned before Christmas.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro