‘Get him, Santa!’ Undercover Claus, elf help nab car theft suspects

Click to play video: '‘Get him, Santa’: Officers dressed up as Santa Claus and elf tackle suspects at California mall'
‘Get him, Santa’: Officers dressed up as Santa Claus and elf tackle suspects at California mall
WATCH: Police video shows two officers in Riverside, Calif., one dressed up as Santa Claus and the other in an elf costume, helping to make several arrests at a mall during a surveillance operation targeting shoplifters on Dec. 10 – Dec 14, 2020

Someone just made the naughty list in California, where an undercover Santa Claus and his elf helped bust a car theft outside a shopping mall.

The incident happened during an anti-shoplifting operation last Thursday in Riverside, Calif., according to the city’s police department. Santa and his elf were undercover officers waiting outside the mall to catch shoplifters, but they sprang into action when the suspected car theft started.

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Video from the scene shows a suspect pulling out of the parking lot in a white Honda SUV while three other officers try to stop him and his companions. The man in the car gets away but police manage to chase down the other two men, thanks to a helping hand from the North Pole.

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Video shows one officer — who was dressed like Santa’s little helper elf — standing over a suspect with his gun out during the arrest. Moments later his partner, Santa Cop, dashes across the mall’s lawn to tackle a second suspect, who is just about to break away from two officers.

“Get him, Santa!” one of the officers can be heard yelling.

Three police officers, including one dressed as Santa, arrest a suspect in Riverside, Calif., on Dec. 10, 2020. Riverside Police Department

Police took both men into custody and later recovered the stolen Honda. One suspect was identified and later released, while the second was arrested on charges of illegal drug possession and resisting arrest.

Police say they know the third suspect’s name and will catch up with him in the near future.

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Santa and the elf also arrested three shoplifting suspects that day, according to police. The duo would wait outside the mall while officers watched for shoplifting suspects inside. Then, once they were given the signal, Santa and his elf would arrest the suspects outside a given store.

Two undercover police officers are shown after assisting with a bust in Riverside, Calif., on Dec. 10, 2020. Riverside Police Department/Facebook

Santa caught a habitual thief, a woman with a shopping cart full of stolen items and a man attempting to steal a $1,000 Lego set, according to police.

This was the first time the Riverside Police Department used an undercover Santa, a spokesperson told CNN.

Case Claused.


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