|Keep an Eye on Your Wedding gifts |
By Debbie Kalinowski and newspaper article
From what I've heard recently, this is the latest "trend". And now this newspaper article confirms it. Please warn all your Brides and Grooms to keep a lookout for "uninvited" guests at their weddings! These "guests" are making off with the wedding gifts! (By the way, I have done/will be doing weddings at all of the catering halls mentioned in this article and I find this news very distressing!)
Posted on Sat, Dec. 04, 2004
A wedding pest admits to thefts at receptions
A South Philadelphia man has told authorities he stole $10,000 in cash and checks from three recent events.
By Sam Wood
Inquirer Staff Writer
An uninvited guest at wedding receptions in South Jersey has admitted to making off with $10,000 in cash and checks intended for the
newlyweds, authorities said.
Anthony Rossi, 30, of the 2600 block of Percy Street in South Philadelphia, surrendered to police yesterday and confessed to absconding with gifts from three recent receptions, said Detective Michael DeLorenzo of Berlin Borough police.
In the most recent incident, on Nov. 13, Rossi told police, a wedding guest - the groom's cousin - pursued him down the Atlantic Expressway after he grabbed the gift box at a reception at Venice Catering in Berlin and tried to make a getaway, DeLorenzo said.
The pursuit broke off only after he tossed the gift collection box out the window of his 1991 Lexus and the cousin stopped to recover it,
Berlin Borough police said they received numerous tips about the identity of the wedding thief after WPVI-TV (Channel 6) broadcast a
composite drawing of the suspect Thursday night.
One of the tips led police to Rossi yesterday.
DeLorenzo said Rossi was charged after confessing to the Nov. 13 heist; a Sept. 4 theft at the Renaissance Room in Washington Township; and a Sept. 11 theft from Anthony and Cleopatra Caterers in Williamstown.
He also told police he had tried to strike at the Woodbury Country Club but was scared off when off-duty Philadelphia police officers at the reception grew suspicious, DeLorenzo said.
Rossi told investigators he would randomly choose a catering hall on a Saturday and pose as a wedding guest, dressing the part. And, just in
case he might be spotted leaving with the loot, he would take the license plates off his getaway vehicle.
On at least one occasion, Rossi enlisted the help of an unwitting catering hall employee, DeLorenzo said.
"He would just walk up and say, 'You want to clean up now? Maybe we should take this out to the car.' They thought he was part of the
family and gave him a hand," DeLorenzo said.
In the wake of the thefts, local caterers have beefed up security and have asked guests to keep a close eye on their wedding gifts, DeLorenzo
DeLorenzo said the unemployed Rossi had told investigators he was not responsible for any thefts where only a few cash envelopes were taken.
"He has no reason to lie," DeLorenzo said. "He's been honest and open. He said he wasn't interested in anything small. His main goal was to take the whole shebang."
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