HOLIDAY (FOX 13) - A possible mail thief was caught on home surveillance video going from mailbox to mailbox in a Pasco County neighborhood over the weekend, looking inside each one.
The video was recorded by Scott Peterson's Nest security camera system at about 3 a.m. Sunday.
"The first night I actually put that up, I got this guy in people's mailboxes," Peterson told FOX 13. "I saw a man with a black coat on and I didn't really see what he was doing, so when I rewound the camera I noticed he was going down my block, from north to south, going in everyone's mailbox left and right."
The man can be seen wearing, what appears to be, a long black coat and carrying a skateboard as he walks down Blossom Lake Drive in Holiday.
Peterson said it looked to him like the guy pocketed a piece of mail from a neighbor's mailbox. He said he might not know who the person is, but he has a good idea the kind of person who would do something like this during the holidays.
"A person that has no heart," Peterson said. "It's a time for giving, not taking from people -- definitely a person that's looking for trouble, looking to steal from people."
Pasco County deputies were at Peterson's house Monday to take a copy of the video and try to talk with neighbors.
Amy Marinec, a sheriff's office spokesperson, says these types of crimes tend to increase this time of year.
"A lot of times people are sending cards, gift cards, money, cash, checks, anything like that is being mailed more frequently at the holiday time," Marinec said. "We always encourage people to get surveillance video of their home. It can be a little costly, but in the grand scheme of things it is cost-effective if you're catching somebody in the act."
This same thing recently happened in Spring Hill. According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Nicholas Cimino, 31, and Lauren Smith, 27, were arrested and accused of taking gift cards and other items from mailboxes on two different days last week.
Deputies suggest people avoid sending cash or checks through the mail if possible. If doing so is necessary, authorities recommend tracking the mail to make sure it gets to its destination without any problems.