Visitors to Berlin's Christmas markets should beware of "Bad Santa" bearing offerings of spiked drinks which have so far poisoned at least eight people.
A bounty of €1,000 has been offered for "Bad Santa", the mysterious poisoner wreaking havoc around Berlin markets by offering spiked yuletide drinks to unsuspecting shoppers. Police are on the hunt for a man who sometimes dresses as Santa and offers alcoholic drinks laced with knockout drops, a date rape drug or ecstasy.
At least eight people have fallen ill after accepting a Christmas drink from this Santa, including a 15-year-old girl who imbibed cherry brandy laced with a date rape drug. News Sky reported the victims suffered from vomiting and in some cases have lost consciousness and required hospitalization.
In other instances the poisoner has portrayed himself as a new father wanting to share a celebratory drink. According to The Local, police have issued a description of the German man who sometimes appears dressed as Santa, as slim, mid 40's, with short, dark, dirty blond hair. Charles Blume, the organizer of a Christmas market at Alexanderplatz, has offered the €1,000 bounty. He told Der Spiegel "The money should help us to capture this guy. This dirty and cowardly behavior has to be stopped." Bad Santa has so far spiked vodka, mulled wine and cherry brandy.
Police have advised all visitors to Berlin's markets to avoid "against accepting and consuming drinks offered by strangers." The crimes do not appear to have a motive at this point.