'Get 'Em Santa!' Undercover Cops Dressed As Santa, Elf Capture Car Thieves In California

This holiday season may not be so merry and bright for the three suspects.

December 14, 2020

Santa and his helpers [Riverdale Police Department]

Santa and his helpers [Riverdale Police Department]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Three California men have landed on the naughty list after two undercover cops, dressed in a Santa Claus and an elf costume, attempted to thwart an alleged car theft at a Riverside mall.

On December 10, detectives conducting “Santa’s Intervention” — an enforcement operation to cut down on holiday retail theft at a Target store in the Canyon Springs shopping center — got an unexpected Christmas surprise.

“Toward the conclusion of the operation, detectives received information about three suspicious men casing vehicles in the shopping center parking lots,” the Riverside Police Department posted on Facebook.

According to the statement, one of the undercover detectives was able to spot the trio of suspects in the act of allegedly stealing an older Honda CR-V.

Santa and Elf apprehend alleged car thieves triptych [Riverdale PD]

Santa and Elf apprehend alleged car thieves triptych [Riverdale PD]

“Two of the men saw the detective and ran off but were quickly apprehended by the other officers,” police noted. “One suspect resisted arrest but was taken into custody with the help of our undercover Santa, and the second was detained by the undercover elf” and later released.

Video shows the third man fleeing the scene in the stolen Honda, which officers later discovered abandoned nearby.

Although the alleged suspect driver managed to escape, “detectives have him identified and will be making an arrest for car theft in the future,” police said.


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