Police: Santa Didn't Rob Bar; Bartender Charged

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By Kelli Sutterman

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Santa Claus has been cleared of all charges.

Police in Rhode Island say a report that an armed man dressed as Santa, complete with white beard, robbed an East Providence bar last Sunday was nothing but a hoax.

Now the bartender at the East Providence Yacht Club who made the 911 call is facing charges.

Christal Johnson was released on personal recognizance after turning herself into police on Thursday to answer to a charge of making a false police report. The 37-year-old Johnston woman hid her face and refused to comment as she left the station.

Police say $1,500 to $3,000 is still missing from the bar and the investigation is continuing.

Sgt. Bruce Atwell says he's just glad that Santa can make his rounds without being chased by police.

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