Investigating Christmas carol crimes

Was Santa breaking and entering? Can you get a DUI for sleigh-ride eggnog?

Santa with a surprised expression on his face

We’ve all heard the advice to be extra vigilant around the holidays for scams and criminals. But what if the crimes we really needed to look out for were tucked away in the lyrics of our favorite Christmas carols?

Brent Ross is a retired lieutenant who spent 25 years with the Waterford Township Police Department. He’s taught at multiple police academies and has received numerous accolades, from the 2018 Michigan Police Officer of the Year to his department’s Valor Award, which is the highest honor one can receive. He joined CultureShift to investigate some Christmas carol crimes, from home invasion to false imprisonment.

“If St. Nicholas was a little too jolly had too much eggnog, that’d be OWI [operating while intoxicated] hit-and-run causing death, which is 15 years. So that would be 15 years without Christmas for all of us.” — Brent Ross, retired police lieutenant, analyzing the lyrics to “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.
  • Sophia Jozwiak
    Sophia Jozwiak is the Digital Content and Communities Assistant for 101.9 WDET.