ROCK HILL, S.C. (CNN NEWSOURCE) – A shopping mall in South Carolina found itself on the naughty list of one Santa look-alike.
He says he’s been kicked out of the Galleria Mall in Rock Hill precisely because he looks too much like Old Saint Nick.
Robert Allen goes everywhere decked out in his signature Santa costume that’s red and white.
“Those are my two favorite colors,” he said.
With a little round belly and a long gray beard, it’s a look he’s been working on for the last decade.
“All of sudden everybody is like ‘you look just like Santa Clause,'” he said.
Robert, or Robby Claus, as he calls himself, travels the area trying to get people to laugh and spread a little love this Christmas season.
“Gastonia, Concord, I’ve been down to Columbia a couple of times, York, Lancaster, over to Indian Land and just to walk around and have fun.”
Getting into character makes him happy.
“If I make somebody smile, get a good giggle out of them, ‘Merry Christmas, I love you, you’ve been on my naughty list, how did you get there,’ joking with them.”
Dressing up as Kris Kringle is also the reason he’s been kicked out of the Galleria.
He said as soon as mall security saw him inside, they told him:
“You can’t come in here. I said, ‘why?’ ‘You look too much like Santa Claus.’ I said, ‘what, all I want to do is get some lunch,’” he recalled.
This Santa Claus says he wasn’t bothering anybody and was eating lunch with his family.
Reps for the mall say they have a strict contract with another Santa they’ve hired to take pictures with kids now until Christmas, and they’re not allowed to have any other Santa look-alikes lingering around.
“I have now found out they’ve been told to report me to the mall, so they could have the security guard escort me out or have me locked up.”
Even though this Santa won’t be getting into the mall anytime soon, that doesn’t mean he’s getting out of character.
He jokingly says the Galleria Mall is on his naughty list.
“They are going to get a bag of coal without the coal in it.”
The mall says Allen is welcome to come back any time, as long as he ditches the Santa look.