NAPLES, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Christmas didn’t come early for one would-be robber who got stuck in the chimney of a local residence while attempting to steal possessions from inside of it.

The Bradenton Herald is reporting that 25-year-old Richard Tyler Brandon, while trying to sneak inside of a house to rob it after running out of money during a night on the town early Wednesday, got stuck halfway inside of the structure.

When his predicament became apparent, his friend, Derek Grenfell, reportedly went for help and happened upon two Naples police officers at a nearby gas station.

After calling for back-up from both fellow police officers and the local fire department, officials broke into the home and discovered the shoeless foot of Brandon dangling in the fireplace.

“I said, ‘Dude, you’re not Santa Claus, what are you doing?'” Grenfell was quoted as saying to the police.

Two hours later, Brandon was freed from the chimney and taken to a nearby hospital for the treatment of multiple residual ailments, including leg pain and trouble breathing.

Officers told the paper that the situation could have ended in a worse fashion for the attempted burglar.

“There is a chance he could have died,” Naples Detective Robert Young noted. “That space he was jammed into was really tight. He couldn’t move.”

After treatment, he and Grenfell were both remanded to the Collier County Jail on Wednesday evening, and remained there as of Thursday, the Herald learned.

Brandon is now facing two burglary charges, while Grenfell is being charged as an accessory to the crime after the fact.


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