Rome, Dec 30

Thieves who ripped off a man dressed as Santa Claus in the Italian capital have returned a bag of toys with a note saying "sorry".

Businessman Giorgio Abbruzese dressed as Santa Dec 24 and gave out toys to children in Rome's Piazza Navona when thieves ran off with a sack containing about 1,000 euros worth of toys, the Il Messaggero daily reported.

Abbruzese's lawyer sent a message in the media that was probably received by the thieves, who later returned the still wrapped gifts and placed them in front of the lawyer's office.

A note said: "We're sorry. We made a mistake. Merry Christmas."

Abbruzese has been Santa and giving away toys for around 10 years.

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