Racket Squad (1950–1953)
3 user 1 critic

The Christmas Caper 

Braddock and his men investigate several con artists who use phony street corner Santa Clauses to collect money for poor children and distribute it among themselves.


Erle C. Kenton


Arthur E. Orloff (teleplay) (as Arthur Orloff)


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Episode cast overview:
Reed Hadley ... Captain John Braddock
Lloyd Corrigan ... Charles Dooley
Jackie Coogan ... Pennington (as John L. Coogan)
Alan Dexter ... Castle
John Phillips ... Detective Seidel
Willie Best ... Janitor
Louis Lettieri ... Grover
Jeri Lou James Jeri Lou James ... Anne Marie
Paul Keast ... Mr. Hastings
Argentina Brunetti ... Mrs. Scarpita
Frances Drew Frances Drew ... Young Woman
William Fawcett ... 2nd Santa Claus


Anxious to earn extra money to buy Christmas gifts for the children in his tenement building, elderly pensioner Charles Dooley takes a job as a bell-ringing street corner Santa Claus. He is unaware that his "employers" are actually swindlers who keep the funds for themselves, and he does not learn the truth until he goes to collect his pay on Christmas Eve. Desperate to keep from disappointing the children to whom he has promised gifts, he takes the money he has collected and uses it to buy the presents. Captain Braddock and Officer Seidel initially suspect that Dooley may be complicit in the swindle, but they learn the truth when they go to his tenement building to arrest him and find Dooley dressed as Santa Claus and giving much-appreciated gifts to the children and their parents. Captain Braddock realizes that he will be in the unenviable position of arresting "Santa Claus" on Christmas Eve unless he can somehow legitimize Dooley's well-intentioned actions. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated

Did You Know?


Grover: Us kids never get Christmas presents.
Charlie Dooley: Oh, of course you do. You... Uh... Didn't you get anything last year?
Grover: Sure. My mom had my shoes re-soled.
Anne Marie Scarpita: [brightly] I got vitamin pills!
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User Reviews

A rather sweet Christmas episode.
22 February 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a Christmas episode of "Racket Squad" and is naturally one with a lot of holiday spirit in spite of the fraud. It's about a man named Dooley (Lloyd Corrigan)--a guy who all the kids in the apartment complex love. It's a shame, as today I think a lot of folks would think nice Mr. Dooley was a creeper--and not the sort of man you'd allow around your children.

It begins with 'Uncle' Dooley inviting the neighbor kids to come into his apartment to play. As they begin talking about the Christmas season, it's apparent most of these kids' families are not well off and they are expecting nothing for Christmas morning. However, Dooley is a nice old guy and backs himself into a corner--promising them a wonderful holiday. But how? Well, Dooley decides to look for a job--one that will help him make the kids' Christmas merry after all. The problem is that the folks who hire him are sleaze-bags (one is played by Jackie Coogan--the child star and Uncle Fester from "The Addams Family" TV show). They pay him to stand on the street dressed as Santa to collect for a charity for underprivileged kids. The problem is that there is no charity! What will happen to Dooley and these sweet kids--especially when Captain Braddock (Reed Hadley) sees the need to arrest him!

This is a very sweet episode that I am sure many curmudgeons and cynics will laugh at because it is old fashioned. However, I thought it was well written and I liked seeing some familiar old Hollywood faces. In addition to Corrigan and Coogan, Willie Best can be seen in the show as well. Well worth your time.

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Release Date:

25 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Showcase Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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