'Bad Santa' Jailed After Stealing Mercedes While Dressed As Father Christmas
A man who dressed up as Santa Claus and stole a high-performance car has been sent to prison for his role in the insurance scam.
Luca De Montis plotted with his co-accused Adam Freckleton to pinch a flashy green Mercedes – that belonged to Freckton’s wife - and then claim the insurance money.
Last December the car was taken from a carpark in Zetland.
Investigators quickly released vision of the theft which went viral and led them to a Kogarah storage shed in De Montis’ name.
The owner of the car, Freckleton's wife Angharad Rees, had no idea so she made a claim to the NRMA.
Later, when her husband told her what had really happened, the pair decided not to tell the insurance company or the police. Both were sentenced to community service.
But De Montis wasn’t so lucky and has been thrown in jail for a maximum of two years and a minimum of 12 months.
The traffic controller claimed in court he was intimidated and owed money to bikies.
“I don’t accept for one minute that you’re the innocent party you say... it was bold, and it was full of bravado.” Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge said.
The 54-year-old who represented himself tried to convince Magistrate Milledge that it wasn’t him in the Santa suit despite being found guilty.
“You’re in the fight of your life right now,” she said. “You’re a con man Mr De Montis.”
De Montis faced three fraud charges, the most serious of which has a maximum of 10 years in jail. In his police interview, De Montis told detectives he was in debt to Rebels bikie associate Mark Judge.
“So you owe Mark Judge $50 grand or…?” Constable Grant asked.
“Yeah.” He responded.
The green Mercedes was worth about $60,000 dollars but was seized by police when De Montis was arrested earlier this year.