Santa's Sidekicks Attempt Hold-Up

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Santa Claus may be known for generous gift-giving, but people had to chase two of his helpers out of an Amsterdam post office after they staged a failed heist, a Dutch newspaper said Monday.

Two people dressed up as "Black Pete" -- a ubiquitous symbol of the Christmas season in the Netherlands -- had lined up patiently, but when their turn came, one ducked behind the post office counter while the other waved "something that looked like a weapon," the De Telegraaf newspaper reported.

"It isn't clear if they were really armed, but they did have a sack with them," a police spokesman said.

The heist failed when outraged clients chased off the would-be robbers, who escaped by bicycle.

The Dutch Santa, Sinterklaas, is usually accompanied by helpers dressed as "Black Pete" -- often seen as a Moorish figure like the servants who might have accompanied the real-life Saint Nicholas, a wealthy bishop from an area that is today part of Turkey.