Man steals $50 and heart meds from Santa, NC police say

Johnny Roseboro (Photo courtesy of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office
Johnny Roseboro (Photo courtesy of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) - Police have arrested and charged a man who they say got a little bit naughty with Santa in downtown Lincolnton this weekend.

The incident happened at a temporary building placed on Main Street during the holiday season where Santa, played by 70-year-old Phil Deon, listens to children tell what they want for Christmas.  Deon has been doing this every year in Lincolnton for the last eight years.

On Saturday night, Deon says a man showed up and Deon offered him coffee and donuts.

When Deon started packing up his things, he noticed his bag containing about $50, inhaler, heart medication and some gloves and the visitor had also disappeared.

Deon, his daughter and grandchildren got into their vehicle and drove around town looking for the man.

They spotted the man at a Citgo gas station on West main Street and flagged down a  passing state trooper.

When police arrived, they arrested Johnny Kenneth Roseboro, 49.  He was charged with misdemeanor larceny and given a $500 secured bond.

Deon got his money and belongings back.

Deon has been playing Santa for the last 22 years.  During that time, he says no one has ever tried to rob him.  He is now armed with pepper spray in case anyone tries to assault or steal from him.

Copyright 2010 WBTV. All rights reserved.