A knife-wielding man dressed as Santa Claus climbed in via the drive-thru window rather than the chimney and robbed a KFC restaurant in England.
According to local cops, he threatened employees with a large blade and took off with an undetermined amount of cash from the safe in the KFC outlet in Alfreton, Debyshire, on Saturday evening at about 10:30.
The suspect is still at large, and in a Santa Alert of a different kind, the Derbyshire Constabulary released the surveillance video embedded below in an attempt to identify the bad Santa with the help of any tipsters or witnesses. “Police in England are searching for a Santa Claus that has clearly been naughty instead of nice,” Fox News reported about the incident.
Commenting on the robbery, a KFC representative told the Derby Telegraph that “We can confirm there was a robbery at the Alfreton drive-through. Thankfully, the restaurant was shut and no one was hurt but we are offering employees any support they need.”
The suspect was wearing a Santa Claus costume with a mask substituted for a beard. “The KFC location has since reopened. Perhaps the police should leave a plate of cookies out on Christmas Eve,” Eater quipped.
Reacting to the description by authorities of the suspect as stocky and 5′ 10″, Grub Street observed that “Police are asking people to be on the lookout for anyone fitting that description, which is silly, but maybe keep an eye out for someone wearing that outfit who’s also lurking around fast-food drive-through windows and/or carrying a knife.”
KFC operates approximately 19,000 fried chicken franchise restaurants in about 118 countries. It has about 800 stores in the U.K.
Separately, the man who opened the first KFC restaurant in the U.K. about 50 years ago, helping the fast-food product gain acceptance across Britain, and who has founder Colonel Harland Sanders’ hand-written “finger-lickin’ good” secret recipe locked away in a bank safe, is no longer a fan of the chain.
Raymond Allen, 87, who sold the business in 1973, declared that “We have got one where I now live, but I would not go in there. I don’t use it and I think it is dreadful. The company has ruined the product. Instead of staying with one good thing that was sellable, they have tried to compete with the other fast food units. They should have just stuck with the chicken,” the London Telegraph reported.
Sanders originally started cooking chicken professionally in 1930, but it wasn’t until 1952 when he started franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. Sanders was “commissioned” as an honorary Kentucky Colonel in 1935 by the state’s governor.
Back in June 2013, the original white suit belonging to KFC founder Colonel Sanders sold at auction for nearly $22,000 with the winning bid from the president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan, a country where dining at KFC locations has apparently become a Christmas Eve tradition.
Sanders died in 1980 at age 90.
As you may have noticed, comedian Norm MacDonald now portrays Colonel Sanders in TV commercials, taking over the role from Darrell Hammond.
In January 2013, a customer eating at a KFC in Colchester, U.K., restaurant apparently discovered what appeared to be a lump of brain in his fried chicken meal. KFC responded that the item was actually a chicken kidney, rather than a brain. The company apologized and offered the customer coupons for free food as a goodwill gesture, which he declined, stating at the time that he had no plans to dine at KFC again.
[Photo by Ng Han Guan/AP]