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Reindeer escapes from Santa at Colorado mall

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Dec 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-09 10:03:08-05

A quick getaway - for one of Santa's helpers.

While St. Nick was getting wish lists from kids inside a Colorado mall - one of his reindeer escaped.

"I saw an awesome reindeer in a pen right here."

Joyce Bearse didn't know the reindeer's name.

"But I left and came back 20 minutes later, but she left and jumped the fence."

It must have been Dasher.

"We got the call about five that a reindeer had escaped from Santa Claus," says Officer Bryan Wagner, of the Dillon Police Department.

Officer Bryan Wagner helped track down the reindeer that took off in a flash.

Wagner says in the frigid weather, the reindeer swam across Lake Dillon to Robert's Tunnel.

"When he came out of Robert's Tunnel, he still had his lead on, and that was actually good for us because it was easier to find him because it was a definte pattern in the snow," says Officer Wagner.

That's when Wagner and an animal control officer had the reindeer cornered...and brought in back-up - another fellow reindeer!

"The reindeer coming in did the trick, and the reindeer came right up to it, and we got the harness and were able to take him into custody from there."

A happy ending to a different kind of holiday story.

"I thought it was great. It was my first day in Dillon, and it was like, welcome to Dillon," Joyce says.

The reindeer's handler says he'll be keeping the Santa's helper on a tighter leash for their next few stops.