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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Even the crooks are displaying festive cheer by Ellerd on 21 December 2005 3:16am
Wednesday December 21, 07:52 AM
'Bad Santas' wreak havoc worldwide

The big man in red is getting a bad name this year thanks to drunken Santas on a rampage in New Zealand, armed German robbers in Santa disguises, a British St Nick wanted for flashing, and a Swedish vandal in a Santa outfit.

Reports of bad Santas breaking the law or otherwise wreaking havoc have been circulating around the world.

Armed with a gun, a man in a Santa outfit held up a furniture store in the German town of Ludwigshafen on Saturday and forced two cashiers to open the safe. He filled his sack with cash, locked the two women in the safe and escaped.

He is still on the loose, but police in Tuebingen with the aid of an infrared camera and helicopter were able to nab a bank robber armed with a machine gun in a Santa costume. They found him hiding in a ditch in a nearby forest.

"The machine gun was fake," a police spokesman said. Dressed in a Santa cap, beard and wearing sunglasses, he was wanted for stealing

500,000 euro ($A812,000) in four separate bank robberies.

One Santa was stopped by police for driving 150kph on a northern German motorway, 50kph over the speed limit.

"He said he was in a rush because he still had packages to deliver," said a spokesman for the police. They gave Santa a fine and took away his licence.

Last week an inebriated half-naked Santa disrupted a Christmas market in Dabringhausen before police intervened.

In New York, one man fed up with the growing commercial aspect of Christmas set up a ghoulish life-sized Santa holding a severed doll's head in front of his house, local media said.

Those incidents paled in comparison to what happened in Auckland on Saturday when 40 drunken Santas rampaged through the city centre, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards in protest against Christmas becoming too commercial.

In Britain, police said they were looking for a Santa acting suspiciously - a flasher who exposed himself to women.

Officers in Swanage on the south coast of England said the flasher had struck a number of times since December 6, and a week later exposed himself whilst wearing a Santa Claus outfit.

A British agency has issued a code of conduct to root out substandard Santas.

"Santa is a magical and cuddly man, not a fat, smelly slob," said James Lovell of the Ministry of Fun agency in London.

"He must not smell of drink or body odour."

Re: Even the crooks are displaying festive cheer by tucsonmike on 21 December 2005 5:02am
Santas are really getting a bad rap. This is tough....
Re: Even the crooks are displaying festive cheer by Clare on 21 December 2005 9:37am
I heard another one in the UK was fired for being drunk and insulting children and not giving them their toys at the store he was working at!

Why take up a job that you are really not going to enjoy?
Re: Even the crooks are displaying festive cheer by LynneD on 21 December 2005 12:55pm
I shouldn't say this, because some of the accounts were serious, but your post really made me giggle Ellerd! I can't believe we in the UK have a Ministry of Fun!!!! First I have heard of it!!

Those naughty Santas. I suppose, like when seeing a Cleric, we trust someone in a Santa suit without hesitation. Only goes to show ....
Re: Even the crooks are displaying festive cheer by Ken Dunn on 22 December 2005 8:21pm
One Santa I read about was paying the parking fines for drivers left with a parking ticket after a parking infringement.
Re: Even the crooks are displaying festive cheer by perfectbitch on 22 December 2005 10:08pm
What a nice Santa! I could kiss him!! : ) Linz

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