LAKELAND, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for this year's Christmas "grinch;" a man they say broke into a home and stole Christmas gifts just days before the holiday.
"Obviously, this guy's got eggnog for brains," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "Because we have video of him breaking into this house."
Judd said the suspect, pictured below, broke into the Lakeland home just minutes after the homeowner, a single mother, left on Monday morning. It happened in the Longfellow Boulevard area, which is in east Lakeland.
On Thursday, the sheriff's office said the suspect was identified as 28-year-old Raheim Jamaar Johnson, also known as "City."
Authorities said an arrant warrant has been issued for Johnson. If anyone has information on whereabouts, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS. If your information leads to Johnson's arrest, you could get a cash reward.
The sheriff's office said she found the home ransacked when she got back around 11:30 a.m.
The victim immediately called the sheriff's office. Authorities said Johnson stole all the wrapped Christmas presents, a company laptop and a flat-screen tv. Judd said the items are valued at $1,600.
The sheriff's office said Johnson may be driving a 2019 or newer dark-colored 4-door Chevrolet Malibu.
Judd said the gifts were for the woman's 8 and 11-year-old daughters. Judd said the sheriff's office hopes to recover the gifts but if not, Polk Sheriff Charities will work with the family.
"This Grinch needs to be caught and held accountable for his criminal actions. Thankfully, detectives are working with Polk Sheriff's Charities to ensure these children have a Merry Christmas in spite of this horrible act. Please contact our detectives with any information about this burglary, or call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS to remain anonymous," Judd said.