Canadian Bad Santa pulls Christmas Eve heist, escapes in Hummer

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:41pm EST
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A man dressed as Santa Claus robbed a small-town Canadian jewelry store at gunpoint on Christmas Eve, before dashing away in a Hummer, police said on Wednesday.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the red-and-white-garbed robber entered a jewelry store in Stettler, Alberta, in late afternoon last Thursday.

He demanded jewelry and diamonds from a clerk and left with a bag of them. No one was hurt. An employee at the store declined to comment.

Wearing a Santa suit may have been a strategic move by the robber, said Sergeant Phil Penny, who said he had seen other robbers wear garish sweaters and wigs. He said robbers may choose such costumes to distract victims from noticing other identifying details.

It's "something flamboyant, something weird that the normal victim would focus on," he said.

The black Hummer sport utility vehicle used by the suspect, who was described as about 6 feet tall (1.8 meters) with blond hair and a pockmarked face, was found on Monday in a Stettler neighborhood.

Surveillance video showed a second vehicle, a pickup truck, leaving the area.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)