Santa Claus is the friendly face of consumer justice for well behaved children, but it's wise to be vigilant about the wolves in red clothing out there who are nothing but erratic impostors.
A snow white beard doesn't have the transformative powers of good that all parents secretly wish it would, and here's the proof that Bad Santa isn't as unrealistic as you think...
If you have anger management issues, the endless conveyor belt of over-excited, shrieking children you face as a mall santa might make the job a tad unsuitable.
In 2004 a mall santa named Elkin Clarke lost his temper, and his freedom, in a violent attack against a 74-year-old woman. Clarke hit the elderly lady repeatedly with a 2x4 claiming that she had robbed $145 worth of Hershey's chocolates from him.
Clarke's attack was so savage that the woman died in hospital due to her injuries and the former santa was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Stick 'Em Up Santa
Cashiers must have been filled with seasonal cheer when Santa walked into their branch in Brentwood, Tennessee... Until he pulled a gun and revealed the intended use of his sack.
The santa, whose real name was David Cotton, got away with an undisclosed sum of cash stuffed into his present bag, but his confidence about the seasonal stick 'em up led to his downfall.
In 2010 Cotton tried to extend his fancy dress crime spree by dressing as a leprechaun to rob yet another bank. This second heist attempt was rumbled by the cops, and after a firefight with police, a desperate Cotten fled to a nearby field and shot himself in the head.
The Scariest Sleigh Ride
A lot of children trust Saint Nick as soon they lay their innocent eyes on his snow white beard, but not all Santas have pure intentions.
A family in Columbia, South Carolina, learned this the hard way when they pulled up to a gas station and were met by a guy named John Michael Barton in a full santa costume driving a festively adorned motorcycle.
The seemingly jolly Santa asked the kids if they wanted to have a look at the stuffed Rudolf in his sidecar and when the eight year old girl was close enough, he pounced.
Barton sped off with the child and the distraught father chased him at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour before running the errant Kris Kringle into a parking lot and snatching his little daughter back.
Barton fled the scene but he was arrested a few days later, hiding out in a storage room in a nearby bar.
When you think about date rape drugs, the last person who springs to mind is jolly old Santa Claus, but a handful of German holiday shoppers now think very differently.
In 2011 in Berlin, Germany a man dressed as santa targeted women with free schnapps or mulled wine, claiming that he was celebrating becoming a father for the first time. When the victims drank their beverages, Santa mysteriously disappeared before the horrendous barrage of symptoms arrived.
People who drank the spiked drinks experienced bouts of vomiting and unconsciousness, with some people so severely affected that they suffered short-term memory loss.
Tests revealed that Santa was doling out GHB (also known as liquid ecstasy), a potent date rape drug which can be lethal when mixed with alcohol.
Despite drugging around 16 people, the sick Santa was never caught.
Flashing Through the Snow
In 2005 a mall Santa named Richard Mullen was hell bent on showing unsuspecting shoppers his candy cane.
The 52-year-old Santa repeatedly walked up to shoppers and dropped his pants (thankfully, he was wearing underwear) until he was escorted out by security for disorderly conduct.
The absolute wrong'un was busted again just two months later for trespassing in a Boston children's hospital with a bag full of condoms and balloons.
Children at a Christmas parade in England were left traumatized after Santa was handcuffed and bundled into a police van for fighting.
The feisty "Father Christmas" got into a punch up with a local teen and their fisticuffs escalated to a level that not only got hundreds of children sobbing, but also warranted police involvement.
The drama was so upsetting for the children that police officers had to take the little munchkins to one side and explain that the Santa they had arrested was a naughty fake, and that they would still be getting presents that year.
Norfolk Police issued the following statement about the incident:
The children were understandably concerned and upset at seeing what they thought was the real Santa being arrested. Norfolk Police are certain that the real Santa would not approve of people behaving in this way and of course he will continue his pre-Christmas visits and delivery of gifts everywhere on Christmas Day
I'll let this bad santa incoherently stumble for himself. 0:39 is gold!