The moral of the story is: If you want a blow-up Santa in your dorm room, go out and buy one.
A former La Roche student found out the hard way that doing otherwise can cost you $447.
The young man, who was 18 at the time of the incident in December, appeared Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge William K. Wagner on a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property after a stolen blow-up Santa was found in his dorm room.
The commonwealth reduced the charge to a summary count of disorderly conduct, and the judge imposed a $300 fine plus $147 in court costs.
Here's what the criminal complaint filed by police has to say about the incident:
It all started late Dec. 4 when another student (we'll call him Grinch) came to the room of this young man (who we will call Santa Man) with a blow-up Santa in tow and told the young man to hold onto it.
Three days later, Grinch told Santa Man that the air-filled Santa was stolen.
Santa Man continued to keep his inflatable friend in his dorm room until he got a knock on his door from a dorm official who "took custody of the Santa Claus," according to the criminal complaint.
Dorm Official found out about the stolen Santa through Facebook.
McCandless police were called in and Officer Michael Metzger noted that a similar Santa Claus was stolen from the front lawn of a home in the 8400 block of Peebles Road on Dec. 4.
The Peebles homeowner came to the McCandless police station and identified the Santa—no lineup needed. Santa went home to the Peebles yard.
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