Yes, Virginia, even Santa Claus gets parking tickets.

Wes Rupell looked authentic when he pulled up at the Hughes Justice Complex on Thursday to distribute candy canes and yuletide cheer. He sported a real beard, jingle bells, spectacles, rosy cheeks and the requisite red suit.But that didn't prevent the long arm of the law from slapping him with a parking ticket at the state-operated child care center.

"I say, `Bah, humbug! Three days before Christmas a Santa gets a ticket," said Cindy Carella, who runs the Justice Juniors center, which cares for children of state employees.

It seems the officer who spotted his car illegally parked in a popular spot outside the state's headquarters for law and order didn't buy the sign he posted in his window. The sign said Santa was making a brief stop inside at a children's party.