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NZ devil Santas terrorise Auckland

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The shaken residents of Auckland, New Zealand, are today recovering from a terrifying ordeal provoked by 40 rioting Santas who robbed stores, assaulted security guards and, shockingly, "urinated from highway overpasses", as The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Auckland Central Police operative Noreen Hegarty told the paper how the rampage began last Saturday when the bad Santa collective (drunk and wearing "ill-fitting Santa costumes") chucked beer bottles and relieved themselves from the aforementioned overpasses.

They then "rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage bins, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on office buildings".

One Santa climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship and was quickly arrested for his trouble. Other Santas at the scene objected and piled into security staff who subsequently required paramedical attention.

To cap this orgy of disorder, several Santas then went into a convenience store and made off with beer and fizzy pop. Owner Changa Manakynda recalled: "They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves."

The devil Santas are apparently members of a worldwide movement - dubbed Santarchy - and "designed to protest the commercialisation of Christmas". Three of their number were arrested during the Auckland anti-Yule uprising.

Police are currently looking for 37 other men described as "wearing red coats, red hats and sporting big white beards". ®

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