UNDERCOVER cops posing as Santa Claus and an elf stopped suspected car-jackers in their tracks.
Video shows the bizarre arrest in Southern California after cops were tipped-off about men casing cars to steal.
The police officer stages a ‘Santa intervention’[/caption]
He then tackles the suspected car thief[/caption]
The drama unfolded in Riverside Thursday afternoon as the undercovers were conducting an operation targeting shoplifters.
They then got word that there were “three suspicious men” who were allegedly looking for vehicles to steal, police said.
The video shows the elf pointing a gun at one of the suspected car thieves.
He says: “What’s wrong is you tried to steal a car but your buddy stole the car.”
The video also shows Santa running up to the other suspect, grabbing him from behind and wrestling him to the ground.
Someone is then heard yelling “get him Santa” as he ran toward the suspect.
The Riverside Police Department said the third suspect got away in a stolen Honda SUV that was later found abandoned.
Det Paul Miranda told NBC Los Angeles: “When I looked over my shoulder I saw Santa running by me going after the second subject.”
Crime-fighting Santa and his elf helper[/caption]
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Police said that of the suspects detained by Santa and the elf, one was released and the other was arrested on charges of drug possession and resisting arrest.
The department says its festive shoplifting crackdown has been dubbed “Santa’s intervention.”
‘Get him Santa,’ someone yelled off camera as he grabbed the suspect from behind[/caption]