— -- The popular holiday toy known as the Elf on the Shelf is apparently in hot water with authorities in Massachusetts.
In a tongue-in-cheek post on its Facebook page on Sunday, the Bourne police department got into the holiday spirit, posting a mug shot of the toy with the caption: “Wanted Person: Use Caution.”
The post went on to advise the public that the perpetrator was wanted in a “string” of gingerbread house invasions. The suspect was known to spread holiday cheer and was a “specialist in covert surveillance” who was often “seen hiding in high places,” it noted.
Lt. Brandon Esip, maintains the department’s Facebook page along with help from his colleagues, told ABC News on Monday that the idea to post a “Wanted” image of the elf was the department’s way of engaging the public in a fun way this season.
“We like to have fun when we can,” Esip said.
Pointing out that the job has its serious side, he said officers tried to be lighthearted when possible.
“I think the community responds to that quite well,” he said.
The community certainly did. In multiple comments on the department’s page, people embraced the theme and ran with it.
“Blatant disregard for authority. Just look at that smirk on his face,” wrote one poster, while another added: “Love it, showed my granddaughter and she said well Santa is going to be really mad.”
Others tipped police off to the elf’s presence on shelves in their own homes and inquired about a reward for reporting his whereabouts.
As for how the elf hunt progresses, Esip advised that the public stay tuned.
“Our plan with this to have a few posts between now and Christmas of our attempts to apprehend him ... we have some additional plans for our pursuit of Mr. Elf,” he said.