Plymouth wedding guests chased would-be thief who snatched gifts meant for newlyweds
A THIEF almost ruined a couple's happy night after trying to steal a box full of wedding cards, gift vouchers and money.
The crook targeted the wedding reception in the ground-floor function room of the Holiday Inn in Armada Way on Saturday evening as it was in full flow.
In front of more than 100 guests the suspect picked up the foot-tall box, wrapped in silver paper, from a table near the door at around 10.50pm. The "postbox" contained around 105 envelopes, many of which held gift vouchers or cash for the newlyweds.
Lead investigator Det Con Mick Warne, said: "The suspect grabbed the box and ran out of the building, turning right and heading up towards the Hoe.
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"Fortunately, members of the wedding party gave chase.
"As the suspect ran he ripped open the top of the box and began to grab handfuls of cards and scattered them on the ground.
"He did this at least twice as he ran, possibly in the hope of throwing off his pursuers.
"Shortly afterwards the guests found the box and the cards dumped on the Hoe, but the suspect had fled."
Police were able to speak with guests and ascertained that no cards were missing.
Det Con Warne said: "Fortunately, none of the cards were stolen.
"It was certainly not a nice experience for the bride and groom on their wedding night and they have now left for their honeymoon.
"We are examining CCTV footage and sending away the box and wrapping paper for forensic analysis.
"It's unlikely the sort of crime you would expect for a first offence."
The suspect was described as white, aged between 20 and 30 years, of average build and around 5ft 11ins tall. He wore dark clothing, possibly a dark blue hooded top.
Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference number EC/12/9097.