The inflatable Santa that was taken. Photo via Ocean City Police Department.

The holiday spirit is not alive and well in three men who were captured on surveillance footage abducting an inflatable Santa off of somebody’s front porch in Ocean City.

Police released surveillance video yesterday depicting the somewhat sloppy nighttime theft. It occurred a bit before before 2 a.m. on Dec. 7, at a house near 27th Street in Ocean City. “The decoration consists of Santa Claus sitting on a chair next to a kettle which contains a teddy bear and candy canes,” the department said rather matter-of-factly on Facebook.

The footage (below) appears to show three men sauntering up to a front porch decked out in holiday decor. Two of them grab Santa and attempt to take him, but he passively puts up a fight by remaining plugged in. They go back and unplug the cord before running off with Saint Nick in tow.

Because Santa is hard to see in that light, police released the above photo showing what he looks like at his best.

Fortunately, the owner hasn’t let the theft dash his Christmas cheer. He went out and got a replacement inflatable Santa, police said.

Nevertheless, Ocean City police have a job to do. Anyone with tips on Santa’s abductors is asked to call Pfc. Jeffrey Heiser of the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6663, or email him at

The theft, while despicable, was of a much smaller scale than last year’s Grinch-like antics at work in Howard County, where two Baltimore men were caught driving around Columbia in a box truck, stealing a total of 77 packages from residents’ front porches. Incidentally, both men were sentenced just yesterday to four and five months of jail time, respectively, according to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...