In a bizarre incident in California, two undercover police officers dressed as Santa Claus and his elf to catch car theft suspects at a shopping centre in California. In a Facebook post, the Riverside Police Department named the operation ‘Santa’s Intervention’ and stated that the task was aimed to curb retail theft during the holiday season.
The post reads, “Retail theft dramatically increases during the holiday shopping season and our detectives have been taking a proactive approach toward these crimes through this enforcement program dubbed ‘Santa’s Intervention.”
Three men were spotted by the police officers in a parking lot of a Canyon Springs shopping centre allegedly trying to steal a white Honda CR-V, stated the Facebook post. Video posted by the police department’s YouTube channel shows a thief driving away in a stolen car and then cop dressed as an elf arresting a suspect at gunpoint while Santa can be seen running behind a thief and slamming him to the ground while someone yells, ‘Get Him Santa!”
Check out the video here:
The suspect who is seen speeding away in the video has been identified and is wanted, as per police. Out of the two suspects who were arrested, one has been released while the other has been arrested for possession of illegal drugs.
People showered their love and appreciation for the Riverside Police Department and applauded them for their efforts. The comment section of the Facebook Post is filled with hilarious comments by internet users. “GOTCHA CRIMINAL! SANTA BUSTED YOU…HOPEFULLY they will not come back,” wrote a user.
According to the post, there were three other arrests, one woman arrested for possession of illegal drugs and with a shopping cart full of stolen items, another local was arrested as he is a regular thief in a store. He was recognized by the cops as soon as he entered the store and before he could steal again, he was arrested. The thief was arrested for trespassing and possession of illegal narcotics, the third was arrested for stealing Lego toy sets worth $1000, recognized as 55-year-old Patrick Seisopour. He was arrested by Santa and his elf.
Detective Paul Miranda, while talking to NBC Los Angeles, said that they were inside the store when they identified the shoplifters and then they split up and Santa was there to take them into custody. Riverside Police Department’s Property Crimes were assisted by officers from the School Resource Officer Unit.