BREA, CA — Depending on how you look at it, Brea police could end up on the naughty or nice list this year after getting a bad Santa off the street.
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On Tuesday, local authorities brought in a suspect who they said on social media was “drunk and made poor choices.” The suspect, according to reports, was wanted for breaking into and burglarizing a storage shed belonging to a local church, likely where he found the Santa suit, Brea Police said.
A resident became alarmed when they the bad santa suspect sleeping inside of their car near the church at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Police arrived, and after initial questioning, discovered the suspect had two active warrants for his arrest.
“He admitted to leaving his personal belongings at a local church,” Brea Police spokesperson Sylvia Huber told Patch. “He was arrested for vandalism, burglary and stolen property.”
Social commentary that followed on Facebook showed residents couldn’t resist the Christmas themed puns:
“Looks like this guy will get a lump of coal in his stocking, and legal fees!” Steve Ess replied over Facebook.
While others felt the police turned Grinch and tarnished the “spirit of Christmas” for “public shaming.”
“The perception I get is that BPD thinks it’s okay to take a photo of someone sleeping without their consent. It’s unprofessional and inappropriate,” Liz Rodriguez wrote. “You’re better than that.”
Still, the majority of Brea area residents felt the post was an excellent public service message.