Local police warned Hudson Valley residents about a new gang that is “wreaking havoc on our community.”

In a Facebook post, the Kingston Police Department wrote that the individuals call their gang the Elf On The Shelf gang, (“EOTS")

“Although they appear to be working alone, it’s believed that these individuals are part of a larger organized group,” the department wrote. “This group has been responsible for numerous acts of mischief and crimes against public order.”

Many unsuspected local residents are being tricked into letting members of the “EOTS” gang enter their home, police say.

“The usual method of operation is that the “EOTS” member appears at the residence, usually around late Nov./early Dec., befriends the unsuspecting family and talks their way into the house,” the department said.

According to officials, families told Kingston police that they became suspicious of the “EOTS” in their homes after large amounts of marshmallows, candy canes and other sweets disappeared.

A police investigation revealed that the leader of the “EOTS” goes by the name Santa, but he’s been identified by authorities as Kris Kringle.

“EOTS” members can be easily identified by their pointed red hats and red outfits with a white frilly collar, police say.

“We urge residents to be cautious of whom they allow into their homes,” the department said. “These elves on the shelf have been known to cause much mischief and mayhem!

Kingston Police ended their annual amusing holiday post with, “Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the men and women of the Kingston Police Department!”

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