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Father Christmas is down one bike, his own.

Santa: lock it, don’t lose it

"Not even Father Christmas can escape the tentacles of crime," complains the District Mail of South Africa.

The newspaper has reported that a lifesize model of Santa, who had been shown cycling on the roof of a shopping centre, is now bike-less thanks to heartless crims.

Store owners "arrived at the centre and found that a Father Christmas on the roof of their building was flat on his back and that his bicycle and top boots had been stolen."

The newspaper pointed out it was "a great disappointment for the ladies who had gone to great lengths to decorate the centre for the Christmas season."

Elsa Slabbert said: "The irony of the theft is that the bicycle was scrap."

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