Police have shared a picture of a drunk Santa passed out in his jail cell after he allegedly stole the suit from a church before being found by officers in his car.
The man, who has not been identified, can be seen slumped down wearing the festive costume without any shoes after his arrest in Brea, California on Tuesday.
Posting the image to their Facebook and Twitter pages, the force dubbed the man 'Drunk Santa Suit Criminal'.
They wrote: 'Dear Santa, I'm sorry I stole your red suit. I was drunk and made some poor choices. I know it's only October. And it's hot. Too hot for this suit.
'But I was drunk. Poor choices. Sincerely, Drunk Santa Suit Criminal.'
The suspect is said to have broken into a storage shed at a local church on Tuesday morning before being found in his car, Fox 11 reports.
He was then reportedly found by police under the influence of alcohol or drugs inside his car at 7am and was arrested for burglary.
The post sparked mixed reaction online with some calling it 'highly entertaining' while others say it 'shames' him and dubbed it 'public humiliation'.
One user joked he should get 'time served for the photo op'.
On Facebook Liz Rodriguez wrote: 'The spirit of Christmas isn't about publicly shaming those who have made a poor choice in life.
'Very disappointed that those who serve and protect choose to use their platform to incite judgment upon someone else. Ironic.
'The 'poor choice' here was in BPD lack of poor judgment to post a photo of a man (not booking photo) at his expense, eliciting all these type of comments of publicly shaming and scrutiny.
'Honestly, I don't get the reason for the post. It isn't a public notice. It's a public shaming. The perception I get is that BPD thinks it's okay to take a photo of someone sleeping without their consent, unnecessarily post said photo of them with captions meant to belittle a person, solely for that person to be mocked.
'C'mon guys. You're better than that. It's not only unprofessional and inappropriate but it can be perceived that y'all are some type of bullies.'
Jolie Nicole added: 'I love that you post this stuff and you crack me up with your comments, but shouldn't his face be blurred out?'
But Sylvia Trani replied : 'It was also his choice to steal but he didn't care, he did it anyway. He stole from a church, he publicly shamed himself!
'At his age we don't call this poor choices. We call him a CROOK!!'
And Rich Bravo added: 'OMG you guys crack me up!!! hahaha!!'
On Twitter one user commented: 'Alcohol.....because no great story ever starts with a salad.' Another added: 'Suspect shaming ain't a good look, Brea.'
DailyMail.com has contacted Brea police for comment.