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A not-so-secret Santa Claus burglar is behind bars. A teenager crawled down a chimney in an attempted break-in, police say -- and got stuck for more than 10 hours.
Ranaldo Jack, 17, began his Santa-like descent into a chimney in Georgia about 3 a.m. Tuesday, when the home's owner was at work, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
A neighbor heard Jack crying for help about 1:30 p.m. and called police.
Rescuers pulled Jack out of the chimney -- a scene that WSB-TV caught on tape. The station reported Jack, when rescued, was "in his socks," but did not mention if that's all he'd been wearing.
Upon rescue from the chimney, the accused wanna-be Santa Claus burglar apparently gave police a phony name. But an officer checked his list twice, and remembered Jack from a prior incident.
Jack was arrested in connection with providing false information to police officers, and burglary.
To prove Jack committed burglary, prosecutors will need to show he entered the house unlawfully, with the intent to commit a crime inside.
Prosecutors don’t have to prove Jack actually stole anything.
Jack’s intent will be key to his case. Reports do not indicate what was going through Jack’s mind, but if he can convince the court he was not planning to commit a crime — perhaps he was conducting a free neighborly chimney sweeping, for example — that may be enough to get him off the hook.
As for providing false information to police, that’s pretty much the officer’s word against Jack’s.
While Jack was still stuck in the chimney, some neighbors peppered him with questions, WGCL-TV reports. When one lady asked what he was doing in there, the alleged Santa Claus burglar replied: “Ah, I’m stupid.”
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