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Larger-than-life Santa Claus stolen from Baton Rouge law firm

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BATON ROUGE - Outside of Gordon McKernan's law office tucked off of Corporate Boulevard, several large inflatables, including the Grinch and Rudolph, greet nearby drivers, though one of those is now missing after being stolen overnight Monday.

"Everybody was kind of shocked when some of our guys sent out the email saying Santa was taken last night," Alex Ludwig, marketing director for the firm, said.

Around 1:30 Tuesday morning, security video captured a figure near the interstate deflate and make off with the 20-foot-tall Santa Claus inflatable.

"A lot of people thought they came up from the backside," Ludwig said. "When they figured out they took him from the interstate, it was even more shocking that someone would be able to get in from the interstate in the middle of the night, in a well-lit, heavily traversed area, and take off with a twenty-foot inflatable."

On their crusade for Father Christmas, the thief tore apart a chain-link fence before deflating Papa Noel. It appears the culprit stuffed Santa into a garbage bin before heading back towards I-10.

"I believe it was like 60 to 90 minutes between when we noticed the guy walking up by himself, arrive, and then the car coming by and taking the garbage can away with Santa in it," Ludwig said.

This isn't the first time one of McKernan's Christmas inflatables was the focus of a holiday heist. Previously, Rudolph, who was left untouched Tuesday, was stolen from another one of the firm's locations.

A $2,000 reward is being offered for Old Saint Nick's return.

Though McKernan is serious about getting his inflatable back, the theft is not stopping the holiday spirit set up along the interstate.

"No, no, no," Ludwig said. "If anything, I think Gordon would want to go bigger and better."


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