Sex offender ‘Santa Bob’ busted for allegedly working secret Christmas gigs

Robert Bruce Kendal allegedly advertised his services on Craigslist, using pictures of children sitting on his lap

A man in Florida was arrested this week after authorities reportedly learned he was working as a Santa Claus-for-hire despite his sex offender status.

The Ledger reported that Robert Bruce Kendal, 48, failed to report his holiday job, telling authorities he didn’t realize he had to do so. Orange County police got involved after Kendal allegedly used Craiglist to advertise his service—with the ad featuring pictures of him wearing a Santa costume and one image showing a child on his lap.

Court records revealed that Kendal has a 1993 conviction for sexual battery involving a child younger than 12.

Robert Bruce Kendal [Image: Orange County jail]
An undercover officer reportedly responded to Kendal’s Craigslist ad and offered him $80 to appear at an office Christmas party Tuesday. Donned in a red getup, fake white beard, and black boots, Kendal arrived at the agreed-upon location and was taken into custody, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

WESH reported that Kendal handed the officer a receipt which was signed “Santa Bob.” The Santa-for-hire was reportedly taking group photos when deputies arrested him.

Kendal allegedly claimed he’s been working as a paid Santa Claus for 30 years. An affidavit stated that he said he’s been working private events since 2009. He also said he was unaware he had to report the email he used to correspond with clients, according to The Sentinel.

The Florida man remains jailed on a $2,000 bond.


[Featured image: Robert Bruce Kendal/Orange County Sheriff’s Office]