Police arrest 'criminal Santa' stuck inside chimney

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Dec. 18, 2017 at 9:16 AM
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Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Police in California arrested a "criminal Santa" who had to be rescued from the chimney of a business he allegedly intended to burgle.

The Citrus Heights Police Department said officers responded with the Sacramento Metro Fire Department on Wednesday to a business where a man had called 911 from his cellphone while lodged inside the chimney.

Firefighters used "specialized equipment" to hoist the man, Rocklin resident Jesse Berube, 32, out of the chimney.

Police said the man had attempted to shimmy down the chimney to gain access to the business, which was closed at the time, but found he was wedged in place and could move neither up nor down.

"Fortunately, Berube was able to move just enough to call for help," police said.

Berube, who was covered in soot but uninjured, was arrested on a burglary charge.

The police department said the "criminal Santa does not have the same skills as the real deal."

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