Man kidnaps Santa in Old Town, Swindon

Swindon Advertiser: McColl’s supervisor Dan Woodman surveys the traumatic incident, which was caught on CCTV Buy this photo » McColl’s supervisor Dan Woodman surveys the traumatic incident, which was caught on CCTV

FATHER Christmas has been kidnapped from an Old Town shop.

A grinning Grinch sneaked out of McColl’s in Victoria Road with the North Pole resident on Sunday evening.

He then bundled Santa into the back of a waiting getaway car driven by a female accomplice.

What the kidnapper didn’t realise, though, was that the shop had a pin-sharp CCTV image of his face and staff at the pub across the road had his car registration number.

McColl’s is reporting the crime to the police – the kidnapping of a six-foot stand-up cardboard cut-out of Father Christmas – and warning the thief to make things easier for himself by returning Kris Kringle, undamaged, to his rightful place in the shop window.

Shop supervisor Dan Woodman, 27, said: “It was about 7.45pm. I was up in the office doing some banking and Alex Samson, a colleague, was on the till and serving a customer.

“I saw whoever it was walk up to Santa Claus and grab him.”

Then, while Dan’s colleague was busy with a customer, the thief left the store. The man seemed to be in his 30s and wore a dark jacket over a pink shirt.

Dan later found out from staff at the Vic pub across the road that they’d seen everything. Manager Linda – she asked that we did not reveal her surname – said: “I was with customers and I watched a man hurriedly come out of McColl’s with Father Christmas.

“He then stuffed him into the back of a car where a lady was waiting and drove away – and we took the registration number.”

The car was a dark grey Seat Ibiza. We won’t reveal the full registration number as it is being passed to the police, but it starts with an H, ends with an F and its digits include a five.

CCTV footage from the shop includes a clear image of the thief’s face as he bought cigarettes and an equally clear image of him leaving the store with Santa.

Dan said he’d be calling the police on 101 and added: “It’s something we want back – undamaged. At the end of the day it’s still theft.

“He’s like the Grinch, stealing Christmas from our customers.”

Comments (11)

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8:37am Wed 11 Dec 13

Wiltshirereader says...

Unbelievable - why on earth would someone steal a cardboard cut-out?
Brilliant that they're captured on cctv and witnesses got their registration...... 'you've been ad mate!'
Let's hope Santa gets returned in time for Christmas Eve!
Unbelievable - why on earth would someone steal a cardboard cut-out? Brilliant that they're captured on cctv and witnesses got their registration...... 'you've been ad mate!' Let's hope Santa gets returned in time for Christmas Eve! Wiltshirereader

12:28pm Wed 11 Dec 13

AceOfBase says...

Someone's going on Santa's naughty list!

Tut tut!
Someone's going on Santa's naughty list! Tut tut! AceOfBase

1:24pm Wed 11 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

Just how sad are some people!
Just how sad are some people! house on the hill

6:30pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Ringer says...

The thief most certainly won't face any kind of punishment in Swindon, that much is guaranteed.

is.gd/k8O9Gw

'Suspended sentence' = absolutely no punishment WHATSOEVER.
The thief most certainly won't face any kind of punishment in Swindon, that much is guaranteed. is.gd/k8O9Gw 'Suspended sentence' = absolutely no punishment WHATSOEVER. Ringer

10:17pm Wed 11 Dec 13

martinswindon says...

"The North Pole resident".

Coming over here taking our jobs....
"The North Pole resident". Coming over here taking our jobs.... martinswindon

10:20pm Wed 11 Dec 13

roberto5 says...

OMG
OMG roberto5

10:33pm Wed 11 Dec 13

LocalBob80 says...

Ho Ho Ho!

The funniest thing about this story is that Ringer is still going on about Judge Douglas Field.
Ho Ho Ho! The funniest thing about this story is that Ringer is still going on about Judge Douglas Field. LocalBob80

7:33am Thu 12 Dec 13

Ringer says...

LocalBob80 wrote:
Ho Ho Ho!

The funniest thing about this story is that Ringer is still going on about Judge Douglas Field.
If only there was no need to.
[quote][p][bold]LocalBob80[/bold] wrote: Ho Ho Ho! The funniest thing about this story is that Ringer is still going on about Judge Douglas Field.[/p][/quote]If only there was no need to. Ringer

9:24am Thu 12 Dec 13

LordCharles says...

It was one of Santa's little helpers demanding more than the minimum wage.
It was one of Santa's little helpers demanding more than the minimum wage. LordCharles

1:56pm Thu 12 Dec 13

BCDR99 says...

Real story or ambush marketing?
Real story or ambush marketing? BCDR99

10:52am Tue 17 Dec 13

swindon281 says...

Why would you steal anything from the town centre? Full of cameras. This story is funny! they are going to prison! good!
Why would you steal anything from the town centre? Full of cameras. This story is funny! they are going to prison! good! swindon281

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