UNDERCOVER cops disguised as Santa Claus and an elf stopped suspected car-jackers in their tracks.
Video shows the bizarre arrest in Southern California after the crime-busting duo were tipped-off about men allegedly casing cars to steal.
The police officer stages a ‘Santa intervention’Credit: Riverside Police
He then tackles the suspected car thiefCredit: Riverside Police
The drama unfolded in Riverside Thursday afternoon as the undercover cops were conducting an operation targeting shoplifters.
They then got reports of “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.”
The cop dressed as an elf draws his gun
Crime-fighting Santa and his elf helperCredit: Riverside Police
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 behindCredit: Riverside Police
He then pins him to the ground
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