Sex offender dressed as Santa Claus at Wytheville pet store

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

WYTHEVILLE (WSLS 10) - A convicted violent sex offender dressed up as Santa Claus during a photo shoot for Petco customers in Wytheville, according to police.

Leonard Kidd worked at Petco, where he participated in the annual Christmas picture event. Petco stores across the nation hold these events where families can bring their pets to have pictures taken with Santa.

The now 37-year-old was convicted of aggravated sexual battery of a minor in Wythe County back in 2002. According to state police, he was on supervised probation at the time of the Petco incident and renewed his sex offender registry in October 2016.

Police said Kidd was in custody as of Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Petco released the following statement:

"We take this matter very seriously, as the safety of all guests in our stores is our top priority. We can confirm that the individual in question is no longer at Petco, and we are cooperating with local law enforcement."