Santa Claus was victimized Saturday morning at a QuikTrip in Overland Park. They took his sleigh, er van. And his Santa jacket and his black toy bag with gold rope. And his phone, with all his contacts and photos.
Gary Senner, 62, has been Santa Claus for 40 years. His mother made his outfit for him.
“It’s very distinctive,” Senner said Sunday. “It’s nothing like any Santa outfit anybody has ever seen. It’s got brown fur. European looking. It’s a long coat with fur trim. It’s burgundy, not bright red.”
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Senner was on his way to be jolly at Prairiefire on 135th Street about 11:30 a.m. when he stopped to grab a coffee at the QuikTrip at 77th Street and Metcalf Avenue. He was wearing his Santa pants. His coat was in the vehicle.
He turned the van off but he left the keys. When he came out, “Oh, my God, my van is gone!”
Someone in the busy parking lot told him he saw a guy get in the van and speed north on Metcalf.
Senner said police came and took a report but he had to bum a ride to his Overland Park home.
The stolen van is a white 2001 Chrysler Town and Country with a Johnson County, Kansas, tag VRP261. It rumbles because there’s a hole in the muffler. It has a small leather bag hanging from the rear-view mirror and a “messed up” lower front bumper. The headlights are scratched.
Senner had several Santa gigs coming up in the week before Christmas, including a hospital visit.
“It’s pretty upsetting to say the least,” Senner said. “Now I have to replace my car. Now I have to go get a phone and I can’t even play Santa because the major part of the costume I wear is gone.”
A GoFundMe page has been created for Senner’s benefit.
Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.