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Bad Santa Robs Bank, Flees With Cash

HERMITAGE, Tenn. - Police are looking for a bank robber in a Santa suit who was packing something more than gifts.

Armed with a gun, he robbed the SunTrust Bank in Hermitage around 10 a.m. Tuesday, placing the money into a Santa-style sack, and fled in a gray midsize car from a nearby church parking lot.

It's the first time that a Santa suit has been used to pull off a robbery in Davidson County in recent years, said Metro police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford. The clothing of choice is usually sweatshirts and sunglasses or a Halloween mask.

"I don't remember a Santa doing that," Mumford said. "I don't recall when a costume like he had today was used for a robbery."

Investigators declined to say how much money was taken.

While overall commercial robberies are down by 18 percent from last year, local police don't track bank robberies. The local FBI office handles them. Efforts to reach the FBI for comment were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Several bank robberies have involved people mimicking Kris Kringle. In Pennsylvania earlier this month, a man donned a white beard and flashed a handgun at a bank.

The most infamous Santa Claus heist was in Cisco, Texas, on Dec. 23, 1927, billed The Santa Claus Bank Robbery. A man dressed in a Santa suit and his crew shot and killed six people and injured several others.

Tuesday's suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall white male with brown hair.

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