Port Orange cops: Fake Santa robs Sun Trust bank branch two days before Christmas

Robber dressed as Santa robs Port Orange bank / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® / At left is a snapshot from surveillance video inside the Sun Trust Bank branch, 3865 Nova Road, showing a man in a Santa Claus get-up on Monday afternoon robbing the bank while displaying a wrapped package he insinuated was harmful, as in an explosive. The fake Santa left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. The package turned out to be harmless.

PORT ORANGE -- Just two days before Christmas, a man in a Santa get-up with stocking hat, fake white hair and beard, robbed the Sun Trust bank branch, after placing a package on the counter while standing in front of a teller and passed her a note demanding cash and insinuating the package was harmful.

"An undisclosed amount of US currency was given to the male, who left the package on the counter prior to exiting the bank," Port Orange Police Lt. John Jakovenko told Headline Surfer® on the 3:13 p.m. robbery at the SunTrust, 3865 Nova Road.

"The male entered a dark colored vehicle and fled the area prior to law enforcements arrival on scene. The bank was evacuated and secured. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad was called to assist in the investigation of the package. The package was determined not to be an explosive device."

The robber was described as a white man, 6 feet tall with a medium build.

Anyone with information on the robbery or the fake Santa shown in the surveillance photo is asked to call Port Orange cops at 386-506-5800.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.