A brief history of crimes committed by 'Santa Claus'

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Between Bad Santa, the Silent Night, Deadly Night series, that scene in Trading Places, and countless others, Hollywood has offered a number of scenes of Santa Claus behaving badly. In the spirit of the holidays, lets look at some of the real-world crimes committed by not-so-jolly St. Nick wannabes.

A Real Flying Santa

Santa straight-up stole a helicopter in 2015. Presumably after ditching his sleigh in Brazil, this Father Christmas rented a helicopter and did not return it. According to Reuters:

The thief rented the aircraft late Friday from an air taxi service at the Campo Marte airport in Sao Paulo for a Black Friday "surprise," the Sao Paulo state security secretariat said on Saturday.

During the flight, the Santa forced the pilot to fly to a small farm outside of Sao Paulo city, where they were met by a third person, the secretariat said.

The pilot was tied up and the two perpetrators flew away.

Brazilian authorities are still trying to solve this one.

The Many Splendorous, Armed-Robbing Santas

There are so many Santas who have committed armed robbery! Let's look at several of these perpetuators of holiday ho-ho-hold ups.


The Santa who robbed an office party with the help of a trusted elf in Papua New Guinea, 2010.

The men, one in a Santa suit and the other carrying a box supposedly full of presents from a local coffee and tea producer, robbed Wamp NGA Holdings of around 50,000 kina ($20,000).

A Wamp NGA staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, said the men infiltrated the company's tight security by duping guards into thinking they were there to give staff Christmas presents.

The honky-tonk Santa who robbed a bank in Nashville in 2009.

He gave us this image.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

As accurate as that costume is, he escaped in a grey car, so people suspected that it wasn't the real St. Nick. And they were right! Police revealed it was David Cotton after he tried a similar robbery around St. Patrick's Day dressed as a leprechaun.

The Father Christmas in the UK who wanted all of a KFC's money, in 2015.

Was he looking for chicken as well as ill-gotten gains? No one knows about this Santa "described as 5ft 10ins tall and stocky," who climbed through the window of a drive-thru and asked staff to fork over the money.


Santa Claus Stars In: Robbery At The Yacht Club in 2010.

East Providence Yacht Club is an ironically named Rhode Island dive bar, but that didn't stop Santa from earnestly robbing the joint several years ago. From The Associated Press:

Authorities say a bartender was alone in the East Providence Yacht Club Sunday night when a large man wearing a red suit, red hat, white beard and carrying a sack walked into the bar and brandished a gun.

The bartender fled and ran to a nearby business where she called 911.

By the time police arrived, the Santa bandit — as well as an undetermined amount of cash from the register — was missing.


The Santa Claus Bank Robbery in 1927.

An indelible piece of Texas history, the Santa Claus Bank Robbery kicked off the (then) largest manhunt the state had ever seen after a group of ex-cons held up the First National Bank in Cisco.


It's important to note that at the time, Texas was a rash of bank robberies evert day, so the Texas Bankers Association was offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who shot a bank robber. It was with this reward in mind that many took up arms to stop the Cisco robbery after the alarm was first sounded.

The four bandits, one dressed as Santa, were quickly surrounded by cops while inside the bank. They managed to storm out, though, using the hostages as cover, and made their escape.


Unfortunately for them, their getaway car was running low on gas, so they ditched their car and tried to get a new one, which they couldn't start. They then took the hostages from the second car and returned to the first car, leaving behind the money and one of the injured-from-all-the-shooting robbers.

All told:

They had stolen $12,400 in cash and $150,00 in nonnegotiable securities. Estimates were made that there were at least 200 bullet holes in the bank, a number which many thought too low. Besides the two police officers, there had been six townspeople wounded in the shootout, but no one was sure whether the robbers or the mob was responsible.


After a days-long pursuit, the robbers were either killed or caught and soon faced trial. One of the surviving robbers was eventually lynched by some upset townspeople who were themselves never charged. Crime doesn't pay, even for Santa.

Giving Away a Different Type of Christmas Tree, If You Catch Our Drift : )

Early in 2015, the town of Monterey, Calif., arrested a St. Nick who was dreaming of a different color of Christmas, if you can pick up what I am putting down, when Randy Lange was arrested for giving people free marijuana while in a Santa suit at a Buffalo Wild Wings:

Just after 4 p.m., customers called police to say Lange was wrapping marijuana in napkins and handing it out to people inside the business. Lange is also suspected of giving one employee a napkin with a brimful amount of pot. He also left a hefty tip, when he stuffed a large amount of the illegal drug inside the bar’s tip jar, police said.

During the incident, Lange would approach customers to tell them he was Santa and that he had a gift for them, police said.


Lange had over two pounds of marijuana on his person when arrested. Maybe this is why Santa can't smoke a pipe anymore.

"Cops were everywhere. Santas were running everywhere…"

This list would be nowhere without SantaCon. One of the weirdest instances of Santa-crime occurred at a mall in Dayton, Ohio, during the 2010 SantaCon festivities. Two women were arrested for, according to police, being intoxicated and "singing off-color songs."


According to Ohio's News 10, it was even worse than it sounds, with hundreds of Santas making a scene.

“It was right there in the middle of the mall. The kids were scared to death. They’re arresting Santa Claus. That’s what we live for. It’s the Christmas spirit,” said Chris Tussey who quickly recorded an arrest a woman dressed in a Santa suit on his cell phone.

“Cops were everywhere. Santa’s were running everywhere with their hats. It was, yeah, one of the most craziest things I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Tussey.


Happy Holidays!

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: david.matthews@fusion.net

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