Bendigo Mall security is set to tighten after Santa held up numerous shops on Friday night.
In a dramatic scene Santa embarked on a two-hour spree of armed robberies, dangerously waving a handgun about, before being arrested.
No one knows what drove Santa to commit such a desperate act, but speculation is on the stress of the festive season.
“Times are tight for everyone, and people expect Santa to deliver,” remarked accountant, Hayley Cunningham
“He feels the pressure as much as anyone at this time of year. I’ve three kids to arrange presents for. Santa has millions. It can’t be easy,” agreed financial advisor, Steve Prendergast.
Locals have expressed compassion for Santa and are petitioning for leniency. 4,000 signatures have been received so far for a suspended sentence, and referral to Beyond Blue. A GoFundMe page has also commenced to help Santa raise enough funds to pay his elves and ensure presents are provided for children everywhere.