Bad Santa burglary bid

A man called police to help get him get unstuck from the chimney of a pharmacy he was allegedly trying to burgle

“Santa is not from Woodend,” say Victoria Police, after arresting a man who became stuck in a chimney on Monday night.

Carly, stock manager at the Lancefield Pharmacy, told the AJP that around 10.30pm, the pharmacy’s alarm went off.

“The owner came out, and found a backpack in the back yard, and called police instead of entering – but there were no doors open, or anything,” she said.

“The police took a while to respond, but in the meantime, the fire brigade and ambulance arrived and said, ‘Someone from inside your pharmacy has called’.”

The man, from nearby Woodend, had become stuck in the chimney, dislodged a blockage and then tried to exit the pharmacy by prying open a door with a pair of scissors.

As well as the backpack, he also left behind a balaclava.

“He’d come through the chimney – the pharmacy is in an old house,” said Carly. “He was covered in black soot and he greeted them at the door of the pharmacy with just a cheeky grin on his face.”

The man claimed to have been doing parkour and to have been taking photographs from the rooftops.

However he had not brought a camera, and “our buildings are not close together,” said Carly.

The pharmacy was left with “soot everywhere,” though the damage was not too bad, Carly said – and nothing was taken apart from one thing.

“He must’ve got thirsty,” she said. “He drank half a bottle of Hydralyte.

“But he didn’t take any cookies, or anything.”

The 22-year-old Woodend man was assessed on scene for minor injuries before being taken back to a police station to be interviewed.

He was charged with burglary and bailed to appear at the Kyneton Magistrates’ Court on 4 February 2019.

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