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A Look Back at the Most Bizarre Christmas Crimes of All Time

Terrible choices get rationalized when they are done in the name of giving your loved ones—or yourself—a better holiday.

Nothing highlights the scuzzy, pustule-ridden underbelly of humanity quite like Christmas. The Walmart stampedes, ye ole drunken family stabbing, Santa Dolls in Brazil filled with cocaine: Terrible choices get rationalized when they are done in the name of giving your loved ones—or yourself—a better holiday.

And there's nothing like the generosity of others to highlight the terrible darkness that generosity can spawn. For every Christmas toy drive, there's a Christmas toy drive crime scene. Still, it's wonderful fodder for all us smug secular folks—and Jews—to post indignantly about on Facebook, or just terrific inspiration for another Tom Waits song.


So snuggle up with the Elf on Shelf that you're using to behaviorally modify your kid's shitty attitude, pour that egg-nog, and enjoy a brief history of the season's strangest crimes.


If Clark Griswold took bath salts, then it would probably go something like this: In 2011, a man named Terry Trent of Dayton, Ohio, got blasted on bath salts, walked in the back door of his neighbor's house, and decorated the place for Christmas. He lit candles and tastefully arranged them on the coffee and kitchen table. Terry even hung a Christmas wreath on the garage door and relished in the merry scene by blaring the television while playing with some toys under the tree.

The sounds from the TV woke an 11-year-old resident of the house, who went next door to inform his mom about the strange man downstairs.

This incident raises many questions: What if Santa were real and just had a synthetic drug problem? What if all junkies were so thoughtful? And what the fuck else are you going to do in Dayton, Ohio besides ride the Ivory Wave to Valhalla?


Journalists are getting beheaded in Syria, it's near-impossible to get an abortion in Texas, and almost half the world lives on less than $2 a day. Even so, a bunch of assholes dress up like Santa every year, run drunkenly through the streets, and dry-hump each other through sweaty, plush suits. The only good that can come from such a grotesque public display of whimsy is a good old-fashioned bank robbery. Last year, some fucking genius dressed up like Santa during SantaCon, the seasonal Santa-themed pub crawl for people with strong opinions about football and other useless bullshit, and robbed a bank in San Francisco.

The cops never found him.



What are you going to buy your male child? Legos? A Grand HaloCraft War video game? Why don't you be a real man, and steal him a handful of snakes like Donald Laigast Jr of Sidell, Louisiana allegedly did? In 2012, according to police reports, Donny grabbed some snakes and a cash register from a pet store. He told cops it was a Christmas present for his son.

So I ask again: What are you getting your son for Christmas? A handful of snakes or a box of tampons?


What if you walked into someone's apartment and, under the glow of a Miller Genuine Draft light-up sign, there was the potbellied figure of a ceramic baby jesus stolen from a local nativity scene? Would you be like, "Wow, Craig! Even though you sell tweak to high school kids, you still know how to pull off a good-natured prank!"

Or would you call the cops?

Your answer is irrelevant, because the cops are wise to your friend's bullshit. In places like Wellington, Florida, that baby is strapped with a GPS monitoring device. In 2007, a stolen GPS-rigged baby Jesus was found face down in a 18-year old's Florida (of course) woman's apartment.


Last year, a Chilean woman reportedly informed her neighbors that she had picked out the best Christmas tree, and her kids were going to have the best holiday ever. It turned out the tree was just a giant cannabis plant. I hate stoners, and frankly hope this woman was publicly executed as a deterrent to future bullshit.


In 2006, 42-year-old South Carolinian David Allen Rodgers figured he'd volunteer to drive the Christmas float for his local dance studio. And so what if he cracks a beer while he does it? The parade only goes, like, four miles an hour, right? You're telling me that a man of fine Scandinavian-German stock can't handle a couple sips of brew? What is he, a Democrat?

But Rodgers allegedly sped off course at something in the vicinity of 60 miles per hour, terrifying parents and children alike. He was eventually apprehended and charged with driving under the influence, 18 counts of assault and kidnapping, unlawful conduct towards a child, assaulting an officer, open container, and more.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper is a writer in Los Angeles and editor for Broadly. Follow her on Twitter.