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Reaction Mixed After Brea Police Post Photo Poking Fun At Suspect In Santa Suit

BREA (CBSLA) — The Brea Police Department was getting some pushback on social media after posting a photo of a man in a Santa suit sleeping in a cell along with a caption that poked fun at him.

Police arrested the man on suspicion of theft and public intoxication after he allegedly stole the suit and other items from a church storage unit a block away from where he was found sleeping in a vehicle.

Santa Post
Brea PD shared a post poking fun at a man accused of theft and public intoxication Oct. 22. (Credit: Brea PD/Twitter)

After his arrest, police posted a photo of the man on social media with the caption:

"Dear Santa, I'm sorry I stole your red suit. I was drunk and made some poor choices. I know it's only October. And it's hot. Too hot for this suit. But I was drunk. Poor choices. Sincerely, Drunk Santa Suit Criminal"

Reaction among people was mixed, with some saying the department was unnecessarily shaming the man while others applauded the department and its post.

"Love your posts! Thank you for all you do for our community! I pray for every police officer when I see a police car! God bless and protect you all," one comment left on Facebook said.

"The spirit of Christmas isn't about publicly shaming those who have made a poor choice in life. Very disappointed that those who serve and protect choose to use their platform to incite judgment upon someone else," another Facebook comment said.

Reactions among area residents was equally mixed.

"I just think he was just joking around," Adrianna Ramirez, a Brea resident, said. "I mean, clearly they didn't mean to offend Santa, but nowadays with social media everything gets taken out of context and you have to be careful the way you say stuff because people take things way too serious."

"Even though he did mess up, I think on their behalf it was unprofessional to make a story about it," Denise Morales, another Brea resident, said.

Brea police declined to comment about the post, but said that the suspect remained behind bars Wednesday night.

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