Man kidnaps Santa in Old Town, Swindon
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.”
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