Greedy Squirrel Steals Treats From Holiday Gift Tray

A family in the suburban township of Maplewood, New Jersey, has been leaving complimentary items out on their porch. But someone with a sweet tooth took more than they expected.

During the holiday season, Michele Boudreaux leaves out treats for delivery people, figuring that they have to work extra-hard this time of year and deserve some hospitality. She includes chocolates, chips, candy canes and other snacks and potentially useful winter items, like tissues and hand warmers.

But this year, she was surprised to find that, only a few hours after she put out the tray, all of the costly Ghirardelli chocolates were gone.

An overweight squirrel takes chocolate from a gift tray meant for delivery people. Michele Boudreaux

The items are all free gifts, but Boudreaux thought that whoever had taken all the most expensive chocolate was out of line. In previous years, when the family put out the gift tray, they had never had so many chocolates go missing so quickly. Her husband, whom she describes as "a surveillance nerd," decided to set up a camera to find out who was taking all the chocolate.

Boudreaux wrote about how she found the culprit on her blog. Video footage shows an obese but enterprising squirrel doing what squirrels do—taking and eating food left outside.

The animal started with the expensive chocolates and then came back for the cheaper Reese's and mini Snickers bars. Then, when those were gone, it went for the Blistex.

Boudreaux says that she wasn't going to confront whatever human might have been taking the chocolates if she identified them; she just wanted to know. But now that she's identified the real culprit, Boudreaux thinks she can stop them. Now she puts the chocolates in a latched container that the local wildlife will have a much harder time getting into.

But, in the holiday spirit of generosity, she considered all her neighbors. Boudreaux also put out a little bowl of popcorn and seeds on the ground. On it, she left a note saying, "For the squirrels because they keep eating the treats. Eat this, squirrels."