NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a Christmas mystery – Santa Claus has been spotted surfing in the East River. So why is he there and where is he going?

CBS2’s Ali Bauman went seeking answers.

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“To what did my wondering eyes appear but a Santa surfer down here,” Lila Kerns said.

He had a rap sheet as long as the naughty list. Kerns was strolling along South Street around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning when the sight of this notorious tough guy stopped her in her tracks.

“He was definitely dressed like Santa Claus.”

A surfing Santa Claus is caught going through the East River on Dec. 11, 2019. (Credit: Lila Kerns)

Seemingly on a motorized surf board, circling police boats, Santa was up to something and CBS2 was determined to crack the case.

“I just thought it was crazy and I was envious ya know I’d love to be in the water, gosh it’s almost Christmas time and here he is enjoying the East River.”

It was cold and pretty quiet out here when Lila saw this Santa. She says it didn’t seem like he was trying to put on a show for anyone but himself.

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“Saint Nick’s kicks, I don’t know, but he seemed to be enjoying himself.”

For a mystery this merry, CBS2 had to consult the experts of all things “joyful” – New Yorkers commuting home on a ferry.

“I hope he has some gifts for some kids,” one commuter said.

“I think he’s going to the North Pole… maybe to Brooklyn,” another person joked.

“I guess his sled was in the shop so he has to get around by the surf board,” a New Yorker added.

“I can’t say crazy cause it’s normal in New York,” one person joked.

“It definitely brought a little lift to people’s days so that was great,” Kerns said.

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So old Saint Nick got away this time, but come Christmas, CBS2’s Ali Bauman will have him singing like a canary.