Video shows the arrest in Southern California of two suspected car thieves by a Santa Claus and a holiday elf who happened to be undercover police officers.
It happened in Riverside Thursday afternoon as the undercovers were conducting an operation targeting shoplifters and got word that there were “three suspicious men” casing vehicles to steal, police said.
Image from video showing an undercover officer posing as Santa Claus apprehending a car thief suspect Thursday in Riverside, Calif. (Riverside Police Department)
The video shows the elf holding a gun on one of the suspected car thieves.
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“What’s wrong is you tried to steal a car but your buddy stole the car,” the elf says.
The video also shows the Santa running up to the other suspected car thief, grabbing him from behind and wrestling him to the ground.
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Image from video showing an undercover officer dressed as a holiday elf with his weapon on a car thief suspect. (Riverside Police Department)
“Get him Santa,” a voice is heard saying to Santa as he runs toward the suspect.
The Riverside Police Department said the third suspect got away in a stolen Honda SUV that was later found abandoned.
Police said that of the suspects detained by Santa and the elf, one was released, and the other was arrested on charges of drug possession and resisting arrest.