Bad Santa gets stuck in chimney during burglary

Bad Santa gets stuck in chimney during burglary

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Police say Richard Brandon was trying to break into a home through the chimney when he got stuck. Firefighters spent an hour and a half rescuing him. Police say Richard Brandon was trying to break into a home through the chimney when he got stuck. Firefighters spent an hour and a half rescuing him.

In 7 weeks, jolly old Saint Nick will come down your chimney, delivering toys and sweets for all the good boys and girls. This Florida burglar, though, isn't him.

Cell phone video shows rescue workers arriving and working to free a trapped man.

The would-be burglar decided to break into the Florida home through chimney. Instead of getting away with the loot, he got covered in soot and waited as fire crews pulled him out.

From the roof above, you can look down and see the suspect, Richard Brandon, stuck in the narrow chimney. Inside the home, one foot dangles above logs in the fireplace.

Police say Brandon was trying to break into the home around 2:00 AM Wednesday.

"This is the first time I've ever seen or heard of something like this," Naples Battalion Chief Pete DiMaria said.

Investigators say he wasn't alone. He and his accomplice, Derek Grenfell, first hit the house next door. Then they moved to the chimney where he got stuck.

Firefighters used straps and a harness and, after an hour and a half, hoisted Brandon out the way he went in.

"You wonder about what they were thinking. It's just beyond me. Strange." Homeowner Mike Whitley  said.

Whitley was in Kentucky when he got the call from police and he couldn't believe what he heard.

"I thought it was a joke, I think I probably said to them 'Is this a joke?'. And it wasn't."

On Wednesday, he was left with Bad Santa's mess: soot and ash left behind but he's grateful that he didn't lose anything through the ordeal.

"I think this Santa was trying to remove things rather than bringing presents in. (laughs) Yeah. He was going the wrong way."

Brandon and Grenfell were both arrested for burglary.

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