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Santa Claus Burglar Caught and Tried

By Tanya Roth, Esq. | Last updated on

Are we mistaken in thinking that there seems to be quite a surge lately in criminals with cute and catchy names? Perhaps it is just an occupational hazard of writing about crime on a regular basis, but since when did every Tom, Dick and Harry thief get a nickname, let alone a Facebook fanpage? Please note the recent the rise of the Geezer Bandit (still at large), the Barefoot Bandit (recently nabbed), the Bouquet Bandit (also recently in custody). Now, please make way for the Santa Claus Burglar.

The Santa Claus burglar operated in Seattle, Washington, according to The Seattle Times. Shon Michael Shanell looked nothing like everyone's favorite old elf being young and slender at 23 years old and 5'-9", 155 lbs. But police just couldn't resist slapping the moniker on the hapless thief when they rescued him from a chimney where he was trapped.

Shanell had been trying to enter a Seattle home via the chimney when he became wedged in. He was stuck there for about six hours before neighbors heard his cries and called the cops. Police were amused and bemused by Shanell's predicament. "This is my 42nd year as a cop. I ain't never seen this," Lt. Kerry Guynn remarked to The Times.

The ending to the story is that Shanell was convicted by a jury of residential burglary on July 20. According to the Associated Press, his sentence will most likely be less than two years. Sentencing will take place on August 5.

In case you are not feeling sufficiently full of early Christmas-y cheer thanks to the Santa Claus burglar, this last detail may help. The AP writes the charging papers in Shanell's case say the bad Santa had a criminal history that included convictions for possession of a stolen vehicle and drug violations. He was released from prison, last time, on December 25. Ho no. 

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