If your newspaper is mysteriously going missing, you might want to check the nearby snow for pawprints. The culprit might be a fox.

An elementary school in Stratford, P.E.I., set up a surveillance camera after newspapers started going missing, and found a fox making off with the bundle of papers seconds after they were delivered.

Foxes likely steal newspapers to build their dens, said UPEI biology professor Marina Silva-Opps.

"They soon will be having young ones, and they need to make sure the dens are solid and warm enough and dry enough for the young," she told Maritime Noon.

sleeping fox

Mark Keizer found this sleeping fox enjoying the early morning sun in Mermaid, P.E.I. (Submitted by Mark Keizer)

"They are intelligent, they are very opportunistic ... Once they find a resource that is interesting, they can remember and they can come back to that resource again."

It's not just P.E.I. foxes who are quick to snatch papers.

Melissa Gray fox photo PEI

Melissa Gray of Morell snapped this fluffy fox in Savage Harbour, P.E.I. (Submitted by Melissa Gray)

Robert Taylor lives in Vienna, Va., and noticed extra papers showing up in his backyard. He eventually figured out the source after spotting  a fox walking with newspapers in its mouth.

"I actually had to put a sign in my front yard that said, 'If you're missing your newspapers don't blame the postman. It's a fox.'"

Silva-Opps said she's heard stories of foxes stealing wallets, shoes and even childrens' toys.

"Foxes are like our dogs. We have a dog at home, and she is always stealing shoes and socks."