Off-duty Santa burgled in church on set of sci-fi horror shoot

Chris Winchester in his Santa gear.
SUPPLIED

Chris Winchester in his Santa gear.

An off-duty Santa has been burgled in a church, on a Sunday, while shooting a sci-fi horror movie.

Chris Winchester, of Pukerua Bay, has been a Santa for four years and leant his lap to everyone from placid babies to Labour MP Kris Faafoi.

He finished his Santa shift at Harvey Norman in Porirua on December 11, then headed to a film shoot for his friend and short-film director Richard Turner.

Winchester, right, during a break in shooting on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with fellow Laketowner ...
WARNER BROS/NEW LINE CINEMA

Winchester, right, during a break in shooting on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with fellow Laketowner Kristi Lofthus Kleijn.

While they were filming, his bag, containing a MacBook laptop, his wallet, and a sentimental silver guitar pick he'd been given when he was best man at a wedding, were stolen.

READ MORE: 
Hamilton man loses Christmas gifts, chocolate and chips in home burglary
Gift-stealing Auckland grinches ruin Christmas
$400,000 a day Christmas burglary toll

Two others working on the shoot had their bags stolen too.

Winchester as a dwarf Beatle, directing a spoof music video entitled Rescued By Eagles.
SUPPLIED

Winchester as a dwarf Beatle, directing a spoof music video entitled Rescued By Eagles.

Winchester, who is from Britain, spent the night getting hold of overseas authorities and cancelling credit cards, so got very little sleep before he was back in the Santa suit, entertaining.

"Although Santa had his bag stolen, it was very much 'the show must go on'," he said.

Some members of the film's cast and crew worked together as extras on Peter Jackson's Hobbit films. "We all ran away from the dragon."

Winchester was also in the process of writing a screenplay on his computer and editing a spoof music video he described as "The Beatles meets The Hobbit".

Ad Feedback

"It's based around the idea that everyone gets rescued by eagles. I keep trying to ask Peter Jackson if he could do a cameo biting a carrot."

Meanwhile, the generosity of strangers and his community had been heartening, he said. A neighbour had even set up a Givealittle page so the community could give back to its Santa.

Most of the items on the MacBook were backed up, but he could not replace the guitar pick.

"If anybody sees the pick, it's a silver guitar plectrum, standard pick shape, and it has 'best man' engraved on it

"That's the only thing I really need back."

Anybody with information on the theft should contact Kapiti police on 04 296 6800.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback